HC Deb 14 October 1996 vol 282 c792W
Mr. Martyn Jones

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what health and safety requirements in respect of the removal of the brain and spinal column from cattle have been published and on what date; from what date such material was required to be removed; arid if he will make a statement. [40249]

Mrs. Browning

The Bovine Offal (Prohibition) Regulations 1989, which came into force on 13 November 1989, required brain and spinal cord, as well as certain other offals, to be treated as specified bovine offal (now known as specified bovine material—SBM) and prohibited such material from use for human consumption.

The Department of Health in conjunction with the Health and Safety Executive and the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens have published a number of guidelines on the handling of brain and spinal cord and other BSE issues. These include "Categorisation of pathogens according to hazard and categories of containment", HSE and DoH, 1990, and "Precautions for work with human and transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies", ACDP, HSE and DoH, 1994.

In addition, the Health and Safety Commission issued on 16 August this year, new general guidance on BSE for occupational groups. This new guidance re-affirms the precautions recommended in the other guidance material on BSE published since 1990 as outlined above. It follows a detailed review of all the earlier publications specific to the various sectors of employment. This new guidance has been published jointly by the HSC, the Department of Health and MAFF.

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