§ Mrs. Ann Winterton
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the total tonnage of beef imported from the Republic of South Africa in(a) 1998–99 and (b) 1999–2000. 
§ Mr. Laurence Robertson
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much meat has been imported from countries which have recorded BSE in the last year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Ms Quin
[holding answer 5 March 2001]: The table shows imports of meat in 1999 and January to November 2000 from those countries which recorded BSE in 2000.
Imports of meat1 1999–2000 from countries which have recorded BSE tonnes 1999 20002 Belgium All meat 42,350 43,718 of which beef 1,583 1,809 Denmark All meat 218,395 222,121 of which beef 2,728 2,837
Imports of meat1 1999–2000 from countries which have recorded BSE tonnes 1999 20002 France All meat 155,621 130,063 of which beef 8,304 5,078 Germany All meat 43,637 51,790 of which beef 3,246 4,241 Irish Republic All meat 192,369 182,903 of which beef 97,338 98,592 Netherlands All meat 333,176 367,962 of which beef 13,533 11,168 Portugal All meat 224 301 of which beef 31 — Spain All meat 14,121 14,144 of which beef 1,208 1,679 Switzerland4 All meat 24 728 1 Meat and meat preparations (including poultry, meat and game) 2 January to November 3 Less than 4 2000 (January-December)
Data for EU countries are provisional and subject to amendment
Overseas Trade Statistics
§ Miss McIntosh
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food who pays the cost of inspection of imported meats from(a) EU and (b) other countries; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Ms Quin
Meat produced within the European Union may circulate freely within the single market, and is subject to random checks by the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) or by the relevant local authority (LA) at the point of destination within the United Kingdom. Depending on the perceived health risk, checks may be random or 100 per cent. Following the recent identification of specified risk material in imports of meat from Germany and the current foot and mouth disease problems in the UK, the MHS has been instructed to step up levels of inspection to ensure that increased volumes of imports can be checked for the necessary health marks and correct documentation. If the point of destination is a meat cutting plant or a licensed cold store, the costs of inspection are charged to the operator of that premises. If the point of destination is a meat products or preparations premises, the costs of inspection are paid either by the Food Standards Agency (for MHS inspection at plants co-located with slaughterhouses or cutting plants) or by the LA (for inspection in plants separate from slaughterhouses or cutting plants).
All meat imported from third countries into the UK must enter at designated UK Border Inspection Posts (BIP) where it is subject to veterinary inspections. The inspection services at the BIP are the responsibility of the 639W local authority. UK and EC legislation requires that costs incurred by the local authority while carrying out checks are recovered from the importer.