HC Deb 16 October 1996 vol 282 cc941-2W
Mr. Alan W. Williams

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will hold discussions with the European Agriculture Commissioner and at the Council of Ministers to ensure that the restrictions that apply in Britain to abattoirs and rendering plants to ban the use of specified bovine offal and to ban the use of meat and bone meal in animal feeding are also applied in European countries. [39839]

Mrs. Browning

The European Commission has already produced proposals which, if adopted, would introduce a Community-wide ban in animal and human food of:

  1. (a) any material from mammals which had not received ante-mortem inspection;
  2. (b) the skill, vertebral column and spinal cord of cattle, sheep and goats aged over 12 months and the spleen of sheep and goats of any age.

Subject to detailed negotiation on the coverage of the proposal in relation to sheep and goats, the UK is supporting these proposals, which have been referred to the Commission's Scientific Veterinary Committee for further consideration.

As regards the use of meat and bonemeal, there has been a prohibition on the feeding of mammalian protein to ruminants throughout the EU since Commission decision 94/381 of 27 June 1994. There is an exemption for member states which can demonstrate that non-ruminant protein is processed separately from ruminant protein which we believe applies to Denmark which has plants dedicated to processing only porcine material.

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