Successful lobbying by the NFU will allow knackermen to assist farmers in moving older casualty cattle off farm in order to claim compensation under the OTMS.

Control restrictions imposed as a result of the foot and mouth disease outbreaks have led to hold-ups in the movement of fallen stock and casualty animals to knackeryards.

Agreement was reached with the Licensed Animal Slaughter and Salvage Association and the Intervention Board to temporarily lift the cap on charges by knackermen to make individual collections of casualty OTMS cattle and their movement to incinerator plants cost-effective.

It will also mean that farmers are able to claim their compensation for OTMS casualty animals which otherwise would have had to be buried on farm.

NFU Livestock Committee Chairman Les Armstrong said: "It is unfortunate that this may involve extra costs for producers. But in a difficult situation it will help farmers move casualty stock and claim the compensation available on these animals, which was in jeopardy for many producers in outlying areas.

"We will, however, monitor the situation and the charges."