HC Deb 24 April 1996 vol 276 cc212-3W
Miss Emma Nicholson

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what import restrictions he plans to(a) introduce and (b) maintain on (i) live imports and (ii) meat products entering the United Kingdom to ensure that they are subject to the same regulations as United Kingdom animals. [26132]

Mrs. Browning

The importation of live animals into the United Kingdom is subject to rules laid down in existing statutory instruments. Additional control measures are added periodically to the Animals and Animal Products (Import and Export) Regulations 1995 and the Animals and Animal Products (Import and Export) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995 to implement new harmonised EC legislation. There are no plans for the United Kingdom to introduce any unilateral import restrictions.

As regards meat products, the Beef (Emergency Control) Order 1996, as amended, which came into force on 29 March, prohibits the sale of all bovine meat derived from bovines which, at the time of slaughter, showed more than one pair of permanent incisors unless it can be shown by reference to a national administrative document—in effect, a cattle identification document—that the animal was no more than 30 months old. This new measure, applies to all bovines slaughtered after the commencement of the order, other than those slaughtered in third countries listed in the schedule to the No. 2 amendment order where the Government are satisfied that we can import beef without risk.

These controls are being kept under review in the light of further progress with the package of measures currently under discussion by the Council of Agriculture Ministers.