Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Twenty-Fourth Report


Memorandum by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food


1.  The Committee asked -

    Regulations 6(1) and 16(1) and (2) prohibit the importation of animals unless "any additional legislation applicable in Great Britain" is complied with (as well as specified Directives). Identify the legislation contemplated by these words and explain why specific reference is not made to it. Indicate why, in framing these provisions, the Ministry took no account of the Committee's report on their equivalent in the 1995 Regulations (Third Report, Session 1995-96, paragraph 6).

2.  The Committee asked a corresponding question in relation to regulation 10(1) and (2) (inspectors' powers).

3.  The purpose of the reference to "additional legislation" is to ensure that there can be no argument that these Regulations are a substitute for other import legislation. However, the Ministry accepts that the reference is capable of giving rise to legal uncertainty and will amend the Regulations to delete this phrase at the earliest opportunity. The Ministry apologises for its failure to take account of the Committee's earlier criticism.

4.  The Committee asked -

    Regulations 13(2)(a) and 21(5) authorise the issue by inspectors to persons in charge of animals of notices whose requirements depend on "relevant legislation". Identify the legislation contemplated by these words and explain why specific reference is not made to it.

5.  The legislation referred to in regulation 13(2)(a) is now the Animals and Animal Products (Examination for Residues and Maximum Residue Limits) Regulations 1997 (S.I. 1997/1729). These replaced the Animals (Meat and Meat Products) Examination for Residues and Maximum Residue Limits Regulations 1991 (S.I. 1991/2843). The Ministry accepts that it would be more helpful if the legislation was specifically referred to and this will be done when the next version of these Regulations is made.

6.  The legislation referred to in regulation 21(5) is considerably more complex. As well as the residue legislation, it includes all legislation which must be complied with before an animal can be slaughtered for sale for human consumption. The legislation includes the Fresh Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations 1995 (S.I. 1995/539) as amended, the Poultry Meat, Farmed Game Bird Meat and Rabbit Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations 1995 (S.I. 1995/540), the Wild Game Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations 1995 (S.I. 1995/2148), and will in the future include legislation on cattle passports and ear tags. Since the provision relates to a notice served by a veterinary inspector, the Ministry submits that it is not necessary to list this legislation in it. However, the Ministry undertakes to re-phrase the provision when the next version of the Regulations is made to make clear that what is being referred to is the legislation which must be complied with before an animal can be slaughtered for human consumption.

7.  The Committee asked -

    Regulation 13 authorises the issue by inspectors of three kinds of notices. Paragraph (4) authorises an inspector to seize any animal or product "in the event of a notice not being complied with" and to arrange for the requirements of the notice to be complied with. Which notice or notices are referred to?

8.  Paragraph (4) of Regulation 13 is intended to cover all notices issued under that Regulation, and the Ministry undertakes to clarify the provision when the Regulations are next amended.

9.  The Committee asked -

    Regulation 28 entitles consignors and importers who are the subject of decisions as to the entry of animals or products into Great Britain to written notice giving the reasons for the decision and details of his right of appeal. What right of appeal, under what provision, is referred to?

10.  This implements Article 9 of Council Directive 90/425 EEC (concerning veterinary and zoological checks applicable in intra-Community trade in certain live animals and products with a view to the completion of the single market) (OJ No. L224, 18.8.90, p. 29). This requires a member State, on request, to provide "details of the rights of appeal which are available to him under the law in force in the Member State of destination and of the procedure and time limits applicable." This is done by informing a person on whom a notice is served that he has a right to apply to the courts for a Judicial Review of the decisions under Order 53 of the Rules of the Supreme Court, advising him to consult a solicitor immediately if he wishes to apply, and quoting the Rule under Order 53 dealing with time limits in Judicial Review.

17th February 1998

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