HC Deb 11 May 1995 vol 259 cc579-80W
Mr. Dalyell

To as the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what considerations underlie the requirements(a) for a vet to pass deer as fit for slaughter and (b) a meat inspector to pass venison as fit for consumption before sale; what aspects of inspection prior to slaughter which are undertaken by a vet could not appropriately be undertaken by a meat inspector; and if he will seek to amend EC regulations in this area. [21442]

Mrs. Browning

[holding answer 9 May 19951: The EC legislation and our national implementing regulations require all fresh meat, including farmed venison, to be produced under the supervision of an official veterinary surgeon. The Government support the principle of veterinary responsibility for meat hygiene and inspection and have consistently argued for flexibility in the EC legislation to make maximum use of qualified meat inspectors working under the responsibility of the official veterinary surgeon in all aspects of meat inspection and hygiene control.

Where young deer are slaughtered at an abattoir, ante-mortem inspection may be carried out by a meat inspector answerable to the official veterinary surgeon. We will discuss with the Meat Hygiene Service and with interested organisations whether it would be appropriate to review the arrangements for ante-mortem inspection of deer slaughtered on farm, which is normally carried out by the farmer's own veterinary surgeon.

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