Farmers may be losing money by incorrectly injecting livestock and damaging carcase value, a survey carried out by AHDB (Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board) Beef & Lamb has revealed.

At last month's Beef Expo event, AHDB Beef & Lamb invited farmers to its stand to demonstrate where they would inject livestock. The interactive exhibit showed that an overwhelming amount of participants indicated incorrect injection sites, which can lead to lesions.

With six per cent of beef carcases slaughtered in the UK estimated to have injection site lesions, farmers could be facing large financial losses as the lesion and surrounding tissue must be trimmed out by the abattoir before being weighed. Bad practice could also be reducing the quality of the meat, as well as leading to animal welfare implications.

Katie Thorley, AHDB Beef & Lamb Knowledge Transfer Senior Manager said: "Producers could be losing money simply by not injecting in the correct place. Injections should be carried out in the neck of the animal where the less valuable cuts are located, as well as in a dry and clean area.

"When medicines are required, use as little as possible, and read the product datasheet. This guidance falls in line with the government's aim to reduce antibiotic usage by 20 per cent by 2018.

"It's also best practice to replace needles as frequently as possible to reduce the risk of abscesses forming. If injecting a large number of animals, the same needle may be used for up to 10 animals and then must be changed."

Market round-up

Messrs Craig Wilson Ltd sold 130 store heifers at Ayr on Thursday to a top of £1260 per head and 246.3p per kg to average £811.42 and 227.1p (+2.6p on the fortnight), while 102 store, beef-bred bullocks peaked at £1490 and 270p to level at £894.56 and 235.1p (+5p). Eleven store B&W bullocks sold to £1055 and 181.9p to average £734.55 and 169.1p (+3.3p).

Harrison & Hetherington Ltd sold 26 store heifers in St Boswells on Thursday to a top of 251.7p and an average of 224.9p, while 23 store bullocks peaked at 280.3p and levelled at 224.4p.

C&D Auction Marts Ltd sold 981 prime hoggs in Longtown on Thursday to a top of £120 per head and 219p per kg to average 187p (+3.1p on the week), while 896 prime lambs peaked at £138 and 283p to level at 235p (-31.4p).

There were also 2528 cast sheep forward when heavy ewes sold to £153 for Texels and averaged £87.37 (-£11.15), while light/export-type ewes peaked at £82 for Cheviots and levelled at £52.66 (-£2.56). Rams sold to £137 for a Texel and averaged £78.31.