§ Mr. Ron Davies
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how he proposes to implement and enforce his latest regulations relating to the handling of bovine brains in slaughterhouses.
§ Mr. Maclean
The Bovine Offal (Prohibition) Regulations 1989 require that specified bovine offal—which includes brains—should be excluded from food for human consumption. The practice in some plants of removing brains before recovering head meat intended for human consumption was raised with my Department, and, after taking advice from the Tyrrell committee, I have issued guidance to local authorities that head meat should be recovered from the intact skull before the brain is removed so that the requirements of the regulations can be met.
I am confident that these guidelines are sufficient to achieve their purpose. Nevertheless, it will be necessary for the Department shortly to be consulting on changes to slaughterhouse legislation to take account of future EC requirements and other technical amendments and I shall consider whether to include in those consultations proposals to give the guidelines legislative force.