Mr. Gareth Thomas
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what performance targets he has set for the Meat Hygiene Service for 1998–99; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. John Cunningham
I have set the following performance targets for the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) for 1998/99:253W
Operational and service deliveryTo take all measures necessary to ensure full compliance in licensed premises with Specified Risk Material Regulations 1997 and other related statutory instruments.To develop a comprehensive training package for all current MHS staff and to ensure that all MHS contract and employed OVSs, Meat Hygiene Inspectors and Meat Technicians complete a formal training programme in HACCP and Quality (ISO 9002) by 31 March 1999, and to present a formal programme of evaluation of the results of this training.To ensure that by the end of 1998/99 on a rolling three-month average at least 93 per cent. of licensed premises are achieving HAS scores of more than 65 and that 75 per cent. of all licensed premises are achieving HAS scores of more than 70.To strictly implement the Clean Livestock Policy by ensuring that cattle and sheep classified into categories 3 and 4 on the clean livestock scale are only exceptionally, and subject to special precautions being taken, slaughtered for human consumption and that no animals in category 5 are accepted for human consumption.To ensure a strict prohibition on carcases showing any faecal contamination being health-marked for human consumption.To publish by 31 July 1998 the report on the MHS Welfare Survey undertaken in 1997/98. To provide instructions or training to MHS staff in areas where action or recommendations are made in the Welfare Audit.
Financial PerformanceTo charge plant operators the full economic costs (calculated in accordance with the relevant legislation and accruals accounting and Industry Charges Guide) of providing the statutory health inspection and controls at fresh meat premises.To recover from government departments, agencies and the Intervention Board the full economic costs (calculated in accordance with the relevant charging legislation and accruals accounting) of providing agreed services or other work undertaken on their behalf.To operate within the net cash allocation as agreed during the year by the MAFF Management Board.