23. PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
AND COUNCIL DIRECTIVE AMENDING DIRECTIVE 64/432/EEC ON HEALTH
PROBLEMS AFFECTING INTRA-COMMUNITY TRADE IN BOVINE ANIMALS AND
Letter from Lord Tordoff, Chairman of
the Committee, to Jeffrey Rooker MP, Minister of State, Ministry
of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
Sub-Committee D yesterday considered your explanatory
memorandum on the proposed amendment to Directive 64/432/EEC concerning
the computerised tracing system for cattle. The Sub-Committee
has asked me to write to you seeking explanation of the issues
below and the scrutiny reserve is maintained pending your reply.
The Sub-Committee shares your concern that any
further requirements introduced by the Commission should take
fully into account that Member States' systems are already well
under development. The Sub-Committee notes that you are to raise
this issue with the Commission (explanatory memorandum paragraph
9) and would like to be informed of its response. The Sub-Committee
suggests that the Commission should consult fully with Member
States before bringing forward any new requirements.
The Sub-Committee notes that the Minister of
Agriculture recently announced that the British Cattle Movement
Service is to be launched on 28 September. It would be a serious
and potentially costly development should the Commission require
changes after or close to this date.
The Sub-Committee agrees with the Minister that
the system will offer real opportunities for the British Cattle
Industry, especially towards rebuilding confidence in British
cattle and beef. It notes, however, that as well as securing public
confidence, the confidence of the farming community in the system
and their acceptance of it must be achieved. The Sub-Committee
would value your comments on this.
23 April 1998
Letter from Jeff Rooker MP, Minister of
State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, to Lord Tordoff,
Chairman of the Committee
Thank you for your letter of 23 April on Explanatory
Memorandum 6241/98 on this subject.
Sub-Committee D raised two specific concerns:
(a) regarding the possibility that the new
Commission rules might cut across the computerised Cattle Tracing
System being developed in Great Britain, Jack Cunningham has made
clear his concerns about this in a letter sent to Mr Fischler.
Officials will follow up this point when discussions begin in
Brussels on the Commission proposal, which is not now expected
to be the case until June, or possibly later. I will inform the
Sub-Committee of developments, as the position becomes clearer;
(b) the Sub-Committee pointed out that as
well as securing public confidence, the confidence of the farming
community in the Cattle Tracing System and their acceptance of
it must be achieved. I agree that livestock farmers and others
involved in the industry will need to become very familiar with
the reporting of cattle movements, births and deaths. Last month
we issued an information leaflet which was sent to every cattle
farmer in Great Britain. I attach a copy for you (not printed).
Further information leaflets are planned at regular intervals
up to the 28 September launch date. We also plan to publicise
the new arrangements via adverts in the farming press, the Internet,
and presentations at agricultural shows and on other suitable
occasions. We are involving the livestock industry closely in
the Cattle Tracing System project: there are farming (and I might
add, consumer and retailer) representatives on the project board
responsible for introducing the system.
I hope this further information is helpful to
10 May 1998