HC Deb 24 February 2003 vol 400 cc267-8W
John McDonnell

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what investigations have been undertaken by her Department into the production of "smokies" using imported contaminated carcases of goats and sheep; and what action the Government have taken to address this issue. [97126]

Ms Blears

I have been asked to reply.

The production of smokies, whether from imported or domestic carcases, is unlawful because it is a requirement under European Union law that sheep or goat carcases for human consumption be flayed immediately after slaughter.

The Food Standards Agency issued guidance on smokies to local enforcement authorities and to border inspection posts in May 2002; since when successful action has been taken on a number of occasions against both imported and domestically produced smokies.

The Government are also taking wider action to tackle illegal imports of meat. A recent progress update on this was given in the answer from my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Mr. Morley) on 27 January 2003, Official Report, column 558W.