HC Deb 11 November 1999 vol 337 cc838-9W
Mr. Llwyd

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to adopt the specified risk material disposal system as utilised by the French Government. [97813]

Ms Quin

I assume that the question relates to the methods permitted for removing the spinal cord from the carcases of sheep which at the time of slaughter had at least one permanent incisor tooth or were aged over twelve months. In France, the spinal cord of such sheep may be removed either by longitudinally splitting the whole vertebral column, as required in the UK, or by a method which involves suction from the unsplit carcase.

Methods involving suction have been evaluated in the UK but did not prove to be reliable in removing the entire spinal cord in all cases. It is also not possible to verify that no spinal cord remains in an unsplit carcase. We therefore have no current plans to adopt this method.

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