Over 40% of steers slaughtered in the UK in February 2016 had carcase
weights above 380kg, up from 36% a year before, according to the AHDB report which analysed the distribution of cattle in the AHDB deadweight price reporting sample by conformation, fat class and weight band.
characteristics and retail yield of progeny.
While steers and heifers showed a small improvement in the number attaining target specification, the number of young bull carcases classified 'R4L or better' increased from 53% to 57%.
The latest annual carcase classification results released by Eblex show 51% hit the target R4L or better, which was an increase of more than 2% on 2011 figures.
The Hereford Cattle Society's superior carcase sire scheme is designed specifically to assist commercial producers selecting sires able to transmit improved carcase traits to their progeny and will offer up to pounds 500 to purchasers of eligible bulls.
It is part of the wider Carcase Quality Initiative, which aims to boost Hereford-sired beef's popularity among both pedigree and commercial breeders.
The number of carcases meeting the standard has risen from 39% in 1998 to 50% in 2000, according to analysis by Eblex.
There has also been a steady increase in prime carcase weights over the last decade from an average of 310kg in 1998 to 326kg last year, with an associated improvement in leanness and conformation..
Only drowned sheep carcases
can be disposed of in this way.
At 343kg in 2007, steer carcases
were fully 4kg heavier than 2006 while bulls were 3kg heavier at 330kg and heifers 2kg heavier at 299kg.
In addition, the European Food Standards Authority has supported the approach as it says there is no evidence of any link between classical and/or atypical scrapie and TSEs in humans, further evidence that the splitting of sheep carcases
has become outdated.
Overall, MLC classification reports for more than 200,000 prime cattle slaughtered in England in 2006 show 46% of prime beef carcases
meeting the preferred "R4L or better" specification.
There are opportunities for beef farmers to increase their returns by improving the carcase
quality of the stock to meet market demands, according to the annual carcase
classification summary from the English Beef and Lamb Executive (Eblex).
Yesterday he denied five charges of failing to dispose of animal by-products correctly and one of allowing live animals access to carcases
, but was found guilty by magistrates in Bedlington.
"Even with the relatively high slaughter age profile, around a third of the dairy bulls in the study produced carcases
weighing less than the 260-280kg minimum set by the modern market.