HC Deb 13 December 1999 vol 341 cc88-9W
Dr. Naysmith

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he expects to receive the report of the Meat Industry Red Tape Working Group. [102771]

Mr. Nick Brown

I have just received the report of the Meat Industry Red Tape Working Group and I am immediately placing copies in the Libraries of the House.

I am very grateful to the Working Group for their hard work in completing their report so quickly. I asked them to think radically and to suggest ways of doing things better. I note that a key recommendation is to modernise the approach to safeguarding meat hygiene to match the advances in food hygiene science. This supports the contention we have held for some time that the system, much of which is the subject of EU legislation, needs revision to ensure that it is effective and streamlined but at the same time provides the fullest safeguards for consumers. The Report makes a considerable number of other recommendations for both short and long term action. I shall therefore be considering the report very carefully with my colleagues. We will give our considered response in the New Year.