§ Mr. Alexander
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will undertake a review of the overall effectiveness of recent legislation affecting the egg producing industry.200W
§ Mr. Gummer
[pursuant to his reply, 11 January 1990, c. 747]: As indicated to the House of Commons Agriculture Committee during its recent further inquiry on salmonella in eggs, I have been reviewing the compensation paid when flocks infected with salmonella are compulsorily slaughtered. I am now introducing new scales of values for calculating compensation which reflect increases in commercial prices since the scales were first drawn up. The scales will also be kept under regular review in future. If a producer disagrees with the Ministry's valuation he will continue to have the right to take the matter to arbitration.
I am also amending the orders on the registration and testing of poultry flocks for salmonella, to remove the provisions that require the registers to be open to public inspection. I am taking this step as I accept that the ready availability of the registers could jeopardise the security of poultry premises.
In our programme of measures to control salmonella, protection of public health continues to be our first priority, but, as these changes indicate, we are also alive to concerns expressed by the industry about certain aspects of our controls. I am also continuing to press hard for measures on salmonella to be introduced throughout the Community.