Despite reports that there has been a significant increase in the number of cattle excluded from the food chain on the back of new rules around animal identity, figures obtained by the Irish Farmers Journal suggest that is not the case.

On enquiry, a DAERA spokesperson confirmed that since 1 May 2017, and up to the middle of June, five cattle were excluded from the food chain in NI because the identity of the animal could not be reasonably determined. While the number is small, it should be recognised that for those farmers involved, it is still a big financial hit.