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Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Eighteenth Report

Second Memorandum by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food


  1. At its meeting on 11 April, the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments considered the above instrument and requested a memorandum on the following point—

    Paragraph 4 of the Department's memorandum explains the delay in laying this instrument (laid on 20 March) (and the resulting breach of the 21 day rule) by reference to "internal administrative problems" and "protracted discussions with the relevant enforcement authorities". Given that the consultation period ended on 21 February, indicate what the problems and discussions were that led to the delay.

  2. Between 21 February and 15 March 2000 (when the submission was made to Ministers seeking their signature to the Regulations) there was a real possibility that the Meat Products (Hygiene) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2000 would be used to further amend the Meat Products (Hygiene) Regulations 1994 (S.I. 1994/3082). Developments throughout the rest of February and the first part of March ultimately indicated that this would not be necessary. There were also some fine points in the accompanying guidance for S.I. 2000/790 that needed to be cleared by colleagues in the Department of Health before it could be issued. Immediately these issues had been resolved, action continued to lay the Meat Products (Hygiene) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2000. This was achieved on 20 March 2000.

  3. The Joint Committee should be aware that, although this memorandum has been forwarded through the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food's Parliamentary Branch, it was prepared by staff at the Food Standards Agency, which (with effect from 1/4/2000) has assumed sponsorship of the Meat Products (Hygiene) Regulations 1994 (S.I. 1994/3082), as already amended). Responsibility for laying S.I. 2000/790 fell to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, although the policy division concerned has now transferred to the Food Standards Agency.

17th April 2000

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