HC Deb 01 February 1999 vol 324 c536W
Mr. Gill

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food by what date the UK will be in full compliance with EU rules on meat inspection. [68128]

Mr. Rooker

Full compliance with EU rules on veterinary supervision in licensed meat plants in Great Britain is not possible in the short term, essentially because of a shortage of veterinarians willing to undertake meat hygiene work in the UK. It is not known how long it will take to achieve full compliance, as this will depend on the Meat Hygiene Service's ability to secure the services of additional Official Veterinary Surgeons, and on future changes in the size and structure of the meat industry. Therefore, it may be some years before the levels and frequency of veterinary supervision required by the EU meat hygiene Directives are achieved in all GB licensed meat plants.

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