§ Mr. Jack
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what quantity of beef imports into the United Kingdom was physically examined for compliance with the SRM ban and the OTMS requirements in the period 1 to 16 January; what were the countries of origin of the inspected meat; which organisations undertook each of these checks; and if he will publish the results of these examinations; 
(2) how many individual shipments of beef to the United Kingdom there were in the period 1 to 16 January; how many such shipments received only a documentary examination; what the countries of origin of these shipments were; and if he will publish the results of these examinations; 
(3) what quantities of beef were imported into the United Kingdom in the period 1 to 16 January; from which country they came; and what were the quantities in the same period in 1997; 
(4) pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for North Tayside (Mr. Swinney) on 20 January 1998,Official Report, column 495, how he is notified about checks made on beef imports into the United Kingdom; 163W
(5) pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for North Tayside (Mr. Swinney) on 20 January 1998,Official Report, column 495, what information he collates to ascertain that checks are being made to ensure that beef coming into the United Kingdom complies with the (a) SRM and (b) OTMS requirements and is microbiologically safe; and for what reason his Department keeps no central records of the number and results of checks made on beef imports into the United Kingdom; 
(6) pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for North Tayside (Mr. Swinney) on 20 January 1998,Official Report, column 495, where the records of its checks made on beef imports into the United Kingdom are held; 
(7) if he will list the points of entry to the United Kingdom where checks have been carried out since 1 January to ensure that beef coming into the United Kingdom complies with the (a) SRM ban and (b) OTMS requirements; 
(8) what physical checks are made on beef coming into the United Kingdom to establish that it is not over 30 months old and meets the SRM requirements; 
(9) how many consignments of beef have been rejected on the grounds that they did not comply with the (a) OTMS Scheme and (b) SRM ban since 1 January; 
(10) for what reasons the proposal to lift the beef ban in Northern Ireland has been based upon beef off the bone. 
§ Mr. Edwards
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement about the inspection of imported beef. 
§ Mr. Swinney
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Taunton (Mrs. Ballard) of 26 January 1998,Official Report, column 98, how many random checks were carried out on consignments of beef imported to the United Kingdom from EU and non-EU countries on each day since 1 January 1998 at ports in (a) England, (b)Scotland, (c)Wales and (d)Northern Ireland; and how many consignments failed to meet the Government's unilateral controls in relation to specified risk material. 
§ Mr. Walter
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many consignments of beef imported from other European Union member states were inspected between 1 and 22 January to ensure that they did not contain specified risk materials and that their import certification was accurate, and in accordance with the Specified Risk Material Order 1997. 
Dr. John Cunningham
[holding answers 26 and 27 January 1998]: Official Overseas Trade Statistics on the quantities and country of origin of beef imported into the United Kingdom are available only for complete calendar months. Statistics for January 1998 are not yet available. Official Overseas Trade Statistics for January 1997 are set out in the table.
All consignments of animal products imported directly into the United Kingdom from outside the European Union (EU) are subject to documentary checks at designated Border Inspection Posts (BIPs), including checks on the certification relating to specified risk 164W materials. Some consignments are also subject to physical checks, the levels of which are laid down in Community law. Most Border Inspection Posts are operated by local authorities. At those which are not, checks are carried out by the State Veterinary Service.
Single Market rules permit only random spot-checks at destination on animal products traded within the Community. Consistent with those rules, a daily sample of randomly selected consignments from EU member states are subject to documentary checks by Ministry officials for conformity with the new unilateral controls relating to specified risk material.
Data on the number, type and results of veterinary checks on beef consignments at Border Inspection Posts, and on the number and outcome of the random documentary spot-checks on beef consignments arriving from or via other EU Member States, are being collated on a monthly basis from 1 January 1998, the date when the Specified Risk Materials Order came into force. No data are available yet. They will be published in the Department's BSE Enforcement Bulletin which is place in the Library of the House.
There are no resrictions on the import of beef from animals over 30 months of age. The Fresh Meat (Beef Controls) (No.2) Regulations 1996 prohibit the sale for human consumption of all meat derived from bovine animals which at the time of slaughter were more than 30 months old. This measure applies to all bovines slaughtered on or after 29 March 1996, whether in the UK or overseas, other than those born, reared and slaughtered in those third countries specifically excluded by the Regulations and UK animals from the Beef Assurance Scheme.
UK imports of fresh beef and beef offal: January 1997 Tonnes European Community Irish Republic 4,896 Netherlands 1,325 France 608 Germany 596 Spain 149 Belgium-Luxembourg 105 Other 87 Total EC Imports 7,764 Non-European Community Uruguay 954 Australia 518 Argentina 720 Zimbabwe 341 Brazil 218 USA 172 Namibia 161 New Zealand 245 Other 22 Total Non-EC Imports 3,352 Total Imports 11,116
All data are provisional and subject to amendment.
The above data include an estimate of below threshold exclude an estimate for non-response.
Business and Trade Statistics Limited