HC Deb 08 January 2001 vol 360 cc450-1W
Mr. Paice

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many cattle compulsorily slaughtered as TB reactors in the last 12 months for which records are available were (a) (i) over and (ii) under 30 months old, (b) on post mortem not showing signs of clinical infection, (c) condemned as unfit for human consumption and (d) sold by his Department for human consumption. [142989]

Ms Quin

[holding answer 18 December 2000]: Provisional data for the 12 months to November 2000 show that 6,606 TB reactors were slaughtered of which 3,340 had no visible signs of TB at post mortem. It is estimated that between half and two thirds of reactors were aged over 30 months and did not enter the food chain. The more detailed information requested is not available.

Cattle under 30 months of age enter the food chain only after stringent meat hygiene inspection in line with EU rules and after removal of any visibly infected parts of the carcase. This practice is of long standing, applies across the EU and is considered to pose no significant risk to consumers. The Food Standards Agency has the responsibility to advise Ministers if there are any food safety considerations raised by this policy and practice.

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