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Alex Renton Discovers Why Happy Cows Mean Better Beef

15th April, 2008 @ 10.51 am
 
A few months ago, we welcomed Alex Renton, a journalist working for the Observer/Guardian Group. Murdo MacLeod, photographer for Observer Food Monthly, accompanied Alex. The purpose of the visit was for Alex to research the welfare of the animals. The research covered a number of aspects including a visit to Balnafettach Farm on the outskirts of Grantown on Spey where Alex was able to see first hand how well the cattle are cared for by Bill Cassells one of our valued local farmers. Following the visit to the farm, Alex and Murdo watched how the animals are treated once they arrive here for slaughter. Below is an extract from the article written by Alex that appeared in OFM on 17th October: “Keeping the animals unstressed through their lives, and raising them and feeding them in a consistent way, has been shown to affect the meat quality. Clearly the most potentially stressful thing for Bill Cassells\' cattle, as to any of the millions we eat each year, is the manner of their slaughter. Bill cajoles them into a truck in pairs and they travel 15 minutes up the valley to Millers\' abattoir at Grantown. If you want to keep the animals unstressed this is a good start. Lily Allen is singing to the animals I find waiting to die in the lairage, the holding area at Millers. They don\'t seem to object – in fact the group of sheep and cattle standing in the semi-darkness in straw-filled pens seems pretty relaxed under the circumstances. The policy at Millers is to keep the animals in their family groups, again, another way of avoiding stress. Despite the radio, the lairage is a calm place.” Alex and Murdo enjoyed a tasting of some of our Beef, including rib eye, sirloin and some mince. To quote Alex, “It is shockingly good: juicy and so tender that is seems to come apart at the mere threat of your teeth. Sandy, Managing Director, looks a little smug as Murdo and I sigh at the pleasure of it. But then he knows that Millers\' Beef is good.” Millers would like to take this opportunity to thank Alex Renton for writing this excellent article and to Murdo MacLeod for taking these fantastic photographs. The content of the article \"OFM This Is One Happy Cow\" is provided by The Observer. Millers of Speyside have obtained permission to reproduce this article from them. (Copyright Guardian News & Media Ltd 2007)
 
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