HC Deb 21 March 1991 vol 188 cc223-4W
Mr. Speller

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he is taking to recommend to farmers non-organophosphorous sheep dips; how many complaints his Department has received about damages to humans using the present dips; and when he expects to approve further alternative preparations.

r. Maclean

I am not taking any steps at this stage to recommend that farmers use one type of sheep dip rather than another. All sheep dip products are currently subject to a review to ensure the most up-to-date safety standards apply. Any products which fail to meet these standards will have to be withdrawn from the market. The results of the review will be announced later this year.

Of the 55 reports of suspected adverse reactions I reported in my reply to my hon. Friend on 11 March at column 399, 41 relate to dips which are presently licensed.

Source: EC Commission.

Dame Peggy Fenner

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will make it his policy to limit the increase in fees for licensing animal medicines to the level of inflation.

Mr. Maclean

No. Government policy remains that the full cost of licensing should be recovered from the industry through the fees it pays for licences and other services. Costs will continue to be reviewed annually and, where necessary, any increases will be reflected in the fees charged. But with improvements in efficiency at the Veterinary Medicines Directorate resulting from its establishment as a "next steps" agency, I would expect any increases that may arise to be kept below the level of inflation as is the case this year. Proposals currently before the House for 1991–92 are for an increase of 5 per cent. in fees for product licences and animal test certificates, and an average of 8 per cent. for other fees and inspections. Both are well below the current rate of inflation.