§ Mr. Lidington
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of(a) the number of sheep and (b) the proportion of the national flock which were born before the imposition of the ban on feeding animal protein to ruminants and are still alive. 
§ Margaret Beckett
[holding answer 1 July 2002]BSE-related feed controls relating to ruminants date back to 1988, but the feed ban in relation to mammalian protein is considered to have been effective from 1 August 1996, when mammalian meat and bonemeal was banned from all farmed livestock feed to prevent the possibility of cross-contamination of ruminant feed. It is estimated that the number of sheep still alive which were born before 1 August 1996, is less than 500, representing approximately 3 per cent. of the UK national flock.