Memorandum by the Ministry
of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
1997 (S.I. 1997/2959)
1. The Committee considered the
above instrument at its meeting on 13th January 1998 and requested
a memorandum on the following point:
"Given that, to those
selling beef and the consumer, the scope of the main prohibitions
in these Regulations is crucial, would it not have made for easier
understanding of their scope if, instead of making their application
depend on five interlinked definitions****,
the Regulations had started with an application provision to the
effect that the Regulations apply to "beef" to which
any bone is attached and to "beef bones", defining those
expressions (in the application provision) in terms of a bovine
animal aged over six months at slaughter which is a food source".
2. The Committee has made an attractive
drafting suggestion which was in fact considered by the lawyer
who drafted the Regulations during the early stages of their preparation.
Such an application provision was however rejected in favour
of the interpretation provisions at regulation 2 of the Regulations.
3. Three of the five interlinked
definitions, those of "bovine animal", "carcase"
and "fresh meat", are closely based on the corresponding
definitions in the Fresh Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations
1995, S.I 1995/539; and the other two are interlinked with them
to minimise the extent of new definitions in the Regulations.
This was part of the decision to settle the Regulations so far
as possible within the existing structure of food safety legislation,
with the intention of helping the consumer and those selling beef
to understand the Regulations and their scope.
4. The Ministry submits with this
memorandum 25 copies of the memorandum voluntarily submitted at
the time the Regulations were laid to help the Committee be reminded
why the Ministry considered it necessary to lay the Regulations
before Parliament less than twenty-one days before they came into
19th January 1998
****i.e. bone-in-beef, bone, bovine animal, carcase and fresh meat. Back