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18 Jun 1996 : Column WA17

Written Answers

Tuesday, 18th June 1996.

British Beef: Import Bans

Lord Harris of Greenwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which countries have imposed a ban on the importation of British beef and on what dates.

Lord Lucas: Commission Decision 96/239/EEC of 27th March 1996 provided that the UK shall not export from its territory, meat and meat products obtained from bovine animals in the UK. The list of countries given below, shows those with a ban on the import of British beef on the day before the introduction of the Commission Decision. The month and year when the bans commenced are shown where available.

Importing Country Date of ban
Algeria June 1990
Argentina August 1991
Bahrain --
Belgium March 1996
Bulgaria September 1994
Canada March 1996
China October 1990
France March 1996
Finland March 1996
Germany March 1996
Iran June 1990
Iraq October 1994
Italy March 1996
Jamaica September 1991
Japan July 1990
Jordan September 1990
Kazakhstan (CIS) August 1993
Libya November 1990
Lithuania April 1995
Malaysia --
Netherlands March 1996
Philippines October 1994
Portugal March 1996
Russian Federation September 1993
Saudi Arabia September 1990
Spain March 1996
Sweden March 1996
Switzerland June 1990
Syria August 1990
Taiwan February 1990
United Arab Emirates August 1990
Uzbekistan --

The following countries have introduced, but subsequently lifted, a ban in the last eight years:






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    State of Sarawak (Malaysia)






    Trinidad and Tobago



Mammalian Protein in Animal Feed: EU Ban

The Earl of Bradford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether other member countries of the European Community have banned the use of rendered mammalian remains in all animal feed, and if so, which.

Lord Lucas: Commission Decision 94/381 requires member states of the European Community to ban the use of mammalian protein in ruminant feed other than Denmark, which has banned the use of ruminant protein in ruminant feed.

Organophosphate Veterinary Products Licensed for Use on Cattle

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What other organophosphate products are licensed for use on cattle apart from phosmet, and what is the extent of their use.

Lord Lucas: Apart from phosmet, there is currently one veterinary medicine containing the organophosphate tetrachlorvinphos authorised in the UK for use on cattle. The Government do not hold any information on the extent of its use.


The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In what countries phosmet is licensed as a warble fly dressing and what is the recommended rate of application for each country.

Lord Lucas: The Government do not hold any information on the authorisation of veterinary medicines in other countries. This is a matter for the regulatory authority in the country concerned. Any instructions on dosage rates and other such matters will depend on the regulatory authority acting in response to local veterinary clinical problems.

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Water Supplies

Earl Peel asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What additional resources the Environment Agency intend to make available in Northumbria and Yorkshire to build up more reliable and comprehensive base data on environmental issues, as recommended in Professor Uff's report, Water Supply in Yorkshire: The Report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry.

The Minister of State, Department of the Environment (Earl Ferrers): The Environment Agency has an extensive environmental monitoring programme. In its North East Region particular attention has been given to the environment in view of the seriousness of the recent drought. However, companies are responsible for collecting environmental information in support of any applications they might make for water abstraction licences or drought permits. In such circumstances, the agency informs applicants of the environmental monitoring programme which it would require in the particular circumstances.

The agency in its North East Region is considering a number of options for improving its ability to obtain external views on environmental issues allied to drought.

Prisoners' Property: Religious Artefacts

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether religious artefacts are excluded from the volumetric control applied to property which a prisoner may have in his or her possession.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch): Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter to Lord Avebury from the Director of Personnel of the Prison Service, Mr. David Scott, dated 18th June 1996:

Baroness Blatch has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question about whether religious artefacts are excluded from the volumetric controls applied to property which a prisoner may have in his or her possession.

Volumetric control of prisoners' property is currently being introduced across the Service with the aim of facilitating more effective searching. The limit imposed of two large boxes plus an outsized item allows prisoners a choice of possessions from the prison's facilities list. Religious artefacts are not excluded from the volumetric control limits and it is the choice of the individual prisoner whether or not to include them in his or her property.

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Justice and Home Affairs Council, 4th June

Lord Dean of Harptree asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will report on the outcome of the Justice and Home Affairs Council held on 4th June.

Baroness Blatch: My right honourable friend the Home Secretary represented the United Kingdom at the Council in Luxembourg. In accordance with the policy outlined in the Prime Minister's statement to the House on 21st May, we were unable to agree to any decisions requiring unanimity in the Council other than those which were purely formal or procedural.

A total of 11 agenda items, listed in the table below, were blocked as a result of the Government's policy of non co-operation in the European Union. However, we participated fully in negotiations on the substantive issues covered by the agenda. The main matters dealt with at the Council were as follows.

The Presidency reported progress in negotiations on the draft External Frontiers Convention and noted that two major political problems--a role for the European Court of Justice and territorial application of the Convention--were outstanding.

The Council examined the three draft directives proposed by the Commission for abolishing frontier controls and giving third country nationals a right to travel in member states, known as the "Monti Package". In addition to the United Kingdom's reserve of substance on these proposals, a number of issues of concern to other member states remain to be settled. The Presidency undertook to consider whether negotiation on these instruments should be primarily a matter for the Internal Market Council or the Justice and Home Affairs Council.

The Council agreed that officials should continue work on developing EURODAC, a project to establish a database of asylum seekers' fingerprints.

The Council considered a compromise proposal for conferring on the European Court of Justice optional jurisdiction to interpret the Europol Convention. The Presidency concluded that this matter would be studied again at the European Council in Florence.

The Council approved a report on the implementation of the Europol Drugs Unit budget in 1995, and deferred a decision on the development of a computer system for Europol.

The Council considered the question of participation by the European Union in the International Law Enforcement Academy in Budapest (ILEA), which is managed jointly by Hungary and the USA. The Presidency concluded that, in the light of opposition by France to EU involvement in the Academy, this matter required further thought.

The Council noted progress in the Structured Dialogue with the Central and Eastern European States, and a report outlining continuing action by the European Union against drugs in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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The Council discussed a number of outstanding issues arising from negotiations on the draft Convention on improved extradition procedures, and concluded that further work was required on these points by officials.

The Council discussed the question of jurisdiction for the European Court of Justice in the draft Convention on corruption, and noted progress in drafting a second protocol to the Convention on the protection of the Communities' Financial interests.

The Presidency invited member states' views on the main issues of principle remaining to be settled in relation to the draft Convention on service of documents in civil and commercial matters, and referred the text for further work by officials.

Measures blocked by the United Kingdom at the Justice and Home Affairs Council, 4th June 1996

    Recommendation on trafficking in works of art

    Recommendation on fight against counterfeiting

    Joint position on pre-frontier missions of assistance and information

    Joint action on liaison officers

    Decisions on measures implementing Article K.1 of the Treaty on European Union

    Work programme for the Europol Drugs Unit, July-December 1996

    Budget of the Europol Drugs Unit for 1997

    Recommendation on combating illegal employment of third country nationals

    Joint action establishing the directory of counter-terrorist competences

    Resolution laying down the priorities for co-operation in the field of justice and home affairs for the period from 1st July 1996 to 30th June 1998

    Joint position on the Hague Convention on the protection of minors.

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