§ Mr. Ron Davies
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) how many farms in England and Wales placed under restriction following the recent contamination by lead of foodstuffs were subsequently shown not to have contaminated milk or meat products; if he will estimate the financial loss involved to producers; whether he intends introducing a compensation scheme; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what is his estimate of the total financial loss so far incurred by milk producers subject to restrictions, following suspected use of lead-contaminated imported feedstuffs.
§ Mr. Maclean
A total of 2,069 farms in England and Wales have at some time been subject to restrictions. Of these, 367 were able to be released in the light of further information from feed suppliers. As at 29.11.89, 1,052 dairy farms have been released from milk restrictions as a result of the milk testing programme and arrangements are now in hand to allow the orderly release of animals from slaughter and movement restrictions subject to a number of further checks, including blood testing of some animals. Reliable information on the costs to the industry are not available and there is no provision under the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985 for the payment of compensation.