HC Deb 01 November 1996 vol 284 c302W
Dr. Strang

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) how many feed mills have(a) had samples tested and (b) had samples that were found to be in breach of BSE controls in each month of 1996; [1458]

(2) what was (a) the number of samples and (b) the number of unsatisfactory samples taken from feed mills and tested for breach of BSE controls in each month of 1996. [1457]

Mr. Douglas Hogg

[holding answer 31 October 1996]: The table sets out the results of the current programme of feed sampling visits, which began in February, up to September—the last full month for which data are available. The premises visited include feed mills, farms using on-farm feed mixers and any site where feed, or ingredients for feed, are produced or stored. Unfortunately we are not able to isolate data for feed mills.

ELISA—the laboratory test used—indicates the presence of mammalian protein in samples. The feeding of mammalian protein to non-ruminant animals, such as pigs and poultry, in forms other than meat and bone meal is still allowed. Samples which test positive or inconclusive for mammalian protein do not therefore necessarily indicate a breach of the legislation.

Every positive or inconclusive test result is investigated by the State Veterinary Service. Enforcement action is a matter for local authorities. The SVS liaises closely with the relevant enforcement authority whenever a possible contravention of the legislation comes to light. It would be for the relevant local authority to consider legal action where sufficient evidence of an offence is available.

Updates on the results of the feed sampling programme are published monthly in the "BSE Enforcement Bulletin", copies of which are placed in the House Library. The bulletin will also publish details of any prosecutions taken by local authorities and notified to us.

The figures shown are subject to adjustment as test results from the laboratory are updated.

Romsey and Waterside (Mr. Colvin) on 24 July 1996 at column 625.

The information requested on surveillance visits made by the state veterinary service to monitor compliance with the controls on specified bovine materials is published monthly in the "BSE Enforcement Bulletin". Copies of this document are placed in the Libraries of both Houses. I am arranging for the hon. Member to be sent a personal copy of the third issue of the bulletin which has just been published.

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