HC Deb 11 January 1999 vol 323 cc128-9W
Mr. Drew

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many notifiable cases of BSE there have been per month in the last two years. [64644]

Mr. Rooker

Numbers of cattle notified as BSE suspects to Agriculture Departments in Great Britain during 1997 and 1998 are given by month in the following table. It should be noted that not all these cattle have subsequently been confirmed as having BSE.

Month of restriction Number of suspect cases
January 538
February 501
March 521
April 523
May 447
June 432
July 450
August 454
September 412
October 460
November 427
December 442
January 459
February 403
March 436
April 384
May 325
June 334
July 343
August 307
September 322
October 372
November 314
December 288


Data as at 4 January 1998

Mr. Drew

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many prosecutions of farmers for breaches in BSE controls there have been; and if he will list the specific breaches. [64645]

Mr. Rooker

Since 1996, there have been 5 successful prosecutions of farmers for breaches of BSE controls brought by MAFF and the Intervention Board Executive Agency. In addition, we have been informed of a further 17 prosecutions undertaken by Local Authorities and by the Scottish Procurator Fiscal.

Offences include failure to keep proper records, incorrect tagging, failure to record cattle movements, false declarations relating to the BSE status of holdings, altering the date of birth of calves on movement and identification documents, forgery of cattle birth documents, failure to stain sheep heads and specified bovine material, selling meat contrary to the Fresh Meat (Beef Controls) (Nos. 2) Regulations 1996 and the Fresh Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations 1995, illegible cattle eartags, deception and false accounting under the Over 30 Month Scheme and various offences under the Animal by Products Order 1992, the Cattle Passports Order 1996 and the Trade Descriptions Act 1968.

Details of legal action on breaches of BSE controls are published each month in the BSE Enforcement Bulletin, copies of which are available in the Library of the House.