§ Margaret Beckett
I represented the United Kingdom at the meeting of the Agriculture Council in Luxembourg on 22 April. The Scottish Minister for Environment and Rural Development also attended.
The Presidency introduced two memoranda of its own: one on improving the contribution of women to rural development; another on the EU Veterinary Fund. Both will be discussed further at official level.
The Commission gave an update on the BSE situation and introduced a proposal to tighten controls on additives in animal feed and water.
The Council had a further discussion of a proposal on the animal health requirements that apply to the non-commercial movement of pets. Good progress was made and the Presidency hopes to secure agreement at the June Council.
Under other business, the Italians drew attention to the position of young farmers; Greece queried Argentinean measures against exports of tinned peaches; and the Netherlands sought a common approach to the treatment of Chinese imports that fail to satisfy EU import rules.