§ Lord Lyell
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What was the outcome of the Agriculture Council held in Brussels on 30th and 31st May.
The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Earl Howe)
This meeting of the Council, at which my right honourable friend the Minister of Agriculture represented the United Kingdom, held only a brief discussion of the Commission's price proposals for farm support prices for 1994–95 and related measures and concluded that adoption of this package should be an urgent priority for its next meeting on 20th June.
At the instigation of the German Minister, the Council discussed bovine spongiform encephalopathy. The Commissioner, Mr. Steichen, reaffirmed the need for policy to be based on science, stressing that there were no grounds for questioning the current trade rules for meat and live animals. My right honourable friend explained the comprehensive measures adopted by the United Kingdom to bring BSE under control and safeguard against any risk to public health. My right honourable friend and several other Ministers endorsed the Commission's plan to maintain surveillance, to tighten the rules on rendering processes and the use of specified bovine offals in cosmetics and to extend to the whole of the Community the ban on feeding meat and bone meal to ruminants which the UK adopted in 1988. The Council unanimously agreed to extend until 30th June 1994 the marketing year for various fruits and vegetables.