Lesions were detected in 208 culled cattle examined at a slaughterhouse. Eighty-two of them had a veterinary certificate, and 30 of these had been slaughtered on the farm. The principal diagnoses included lameness (88 cases), mastitis (35), chronic infections (32), complications of parturition (20) and fractures and dislocation (14). Most of the 126 animals sent for slaughter by farmers without a veterinary certificate were suffering from lameness (71), mastitis (29) or chronic infections (18). Over 90 per cent of the animals with complications of parturition or traumatic injury had a veterinary certificate. The carcases of 33 (26 per cent) of the animals sent for slaughter without a veterinary certificate were rejected by the meat inspector, and 29 (35 per cent) of those with a veterinary certificate were rejected; the difference was not statistically significant.