HEALTH REQUIREMENTS FOR ANIMAL BY-PRODUCTS
Draft Council Regulation laying down the health rules
concerning animal by-products not intended for human
Draft Council Directive amending Council Directives
90/425/EEC and 92/118/EEC as regards health requirements
for animal by-products.
||Article 152(4)(b) EC; co-decision; qualified majority voting
||Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
|Basis of consideration:
||Minister's letter of 6 March 2001
|Previous Committee Report:
||HC 28-iii (2000-01), paragraph 2 (17 January 2001) and HC 28-vii (2000-01), paragraph 3 (28 February 2001)
|To be discussed in Council:
||Following receipt of European Parliament opinion
||For debate in European Standing Committee A (decision reported on 17 January 2001, and debate held on 7 March 2001)
2.1 In October 2000, the Commission put
forward proposal for amending the main Community rules governing
the disposal and processing of animal by-products (animal carcases,
parts of animal carcases, and products of animal origin not intended
for human consumption). The proposals are set out more fully in
our Report of 17 January 2001, which concluded that, although
detailed and highly technical, they were clearly important, and
should, therefore, be debated in European Standing Committee A,
once the Government had produced a revised Regulatory Impact Assessment.
In the meantime, we asked the Minister to clarify the relationship
between what was proposed here, and the various measures which
we had considered relating to the prevention and control of transmissible
spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Most of the information we
had requested was contained in a Supplementary Explanatory Memorandum
of 26 February from the Minister, but, as we pointed out in our
Report of 28 February, she failed to address our query over the
relationship between this proposal and the various TSE measures.
We therefore said that, whilst this outstanding point need not
hold up the debate which had been scheduled for 7 March, we would
nevertheless still like to have it clarified.
Minister's letter of 6 March 2001
2.2 In her letter of 6 March, the Minister
of State (Lords) at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and
Food (Baroness Hayman) says that the proposals are concerned with
risks from transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), conventional
pathogens, and toxic substances and residues, but that many of
the new controls have been driven by the BSE crisis, which had
focussed attention on the controls in place to protect human and
animal health, and on the ways in which animal by-products are
used or disposed of. The Belgian dioxin crisis also informed thinking
in this area.
2.3 The Minister adds that the BSE crisis
also prompted public concern about the quality of the ingredients
which are used in livestock feedingstuffs, and about the re-cycling
of animal by-products to other animals of the same species - issues
which have been under discussion in Europe since 1997 and addressed
by the Scientific Steering Committee on a number of occasions.
Though that Committee has not recommended a ban on intra-species
recycling, it has advised that, where this cannot be avoided,
fallen stock and other condemned material should not be used,
and the current proposal would implement that recommendation.
2.4 The TSE Regulation , on the other hand,
focuses on the eradication of TSEs in livestock, the protection
of public health, and the conditions which must be met in order
to ensure that TSEs are not spread through international trade
in livestock and livestock products. She adds that there is inevitably
some overlap between the two areas, notably as regards the disposal
of risk materials, and the controls on the inclusion of animal
proteins in livestock feedingstuffs, but that, before the current
proposal is adopted, it will be checked for any unintentional
discrepancies with other legislation, including the TSE Regulation.
2.5 We are grateful to the Minister for
this clarification, which we understand was made available to
Members of European Standing Committee A and the Vote Office before
last week's debate. We are, however, summarising the Minister's
comments in this Report for the benefit of the House as a whole.