HC Deb 12 November 1998 vol 319 cc311-2W
18. Ms Keeble

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress is being made on the lifting of the EU beef export ban. [58060]

Mr. Nick Brown

The European Commission's proposal for a Date-based Export Scheme (DBES) was supported by a simple majority of Member States when voted on by the EU Standing Veterinary Committee on 4 November 1998. It did not however achieve the qualified majority necessary for its adoption by the SVC. The proposal will therefore be sent to the Agriculture Council on 23 or 24 November.

Mr. Colvin

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he expects to lift the ban on selling beef on the bone. [58787]

Mr. Rooker

The ban on sales of bone-in beef is not intended to be for all time. The Beef Bones Regulations 1997 remain under review, as is the case with all BSE related control measures. In expressing our hopes recently that the controls can be lifted as quickly as possible, we have emphasised that any decision to do so, or to alter their scope, would be taken only in the light of progress with the eradication of BSE, scientific advice from the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee and the views of the Chief Medical Officer.