§ Mr. Biffen
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what consultations he has had with the British Veterinary Association concerning meat inspection requirements under European Economic Community directions and regulations; and what policy changes will be involved in conforming to such directions and regulations.
§ Mr. Peter Mills
My Department has discussed EEC meat inspection requirements with the British Veterinary Association on three occasions—in November, 1971, and in April and July this year. The EEC Directive on Red Meat relates only to intra-Community—that is, export—trade and in the short term we shall continue with our present system whereby Ministry veterinary officers inspect and approve the export slaughterhouses and local veterinary inspectors certify the meat. The basically similar Directive on Poultry Meat has the important difference that by 1976 it must be applied to production for the home as well as the export market. It is our intention that the necessary veterinary supervision should be carried out by the local authorities who traditionally have been responsible for our domestic meat inspection. They would also when appropriate assume responsibility for red meat destined for export.