Angry butchers who feel that their business has been unfairly affected by scare-mongering on the threat of BSE are preparing to file an official complaint against an unknown perpetrator.

A recent poll conducted by CTK calculated that beef sales by domestic processors and retailers have dropped by between 15-50% as a result of consumer concern and the industry now thinks enough is enough.

The Czech republic has already implemented a ban on the imports of beef, cattle or beef products from any country that has discovered the disease in its domestic cattle stocks, and this was extended toady (1 December) to include Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Germany and Spain, as well as Britain, France and Portugal.

Responding to the allegedly exaggerated panic over the safety of domestic Czech beef then, chairman of the Butchers' Association, Jaroslav Sebesta, argued: "If farmers use cattle excrement as fertilizer, we should not be using grain, according to this logic."

By Clare Harman, just-food.com editorial team