TSE REGULATION (15874/04)
Letter from Ben Bradshaw MP, Minister
for Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare, Department for
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to the Chairman
I am writing to inform your Committee of the
current position on this dossier, in particular, that the Austrian
Presidency are hoping to broker a First Reading deal with the
When the European Scrutiny Committee last considered
this dossier, we informed them that Government was seeking clarification
on two elements of the proposalthe re-definition of mechanically
separated meat (MSM), and the restrictions to be imposed on holdings
where scrapie is suspected.
We were seeking clarification on the definition
of MSM as the definition provided would have policy implications.
This was because it appeared significantly different from the
interpretation provided to the Food Standards Agency in February
2005. We have since received clarification from the Commission
and the latest draft of the proposed TSE Regulation is acceptable
to the UK as it is in line with our own domestic legislation.
On the restrictions to be imposed on holdings
where scrapie is suspected, the Commission has subsequently clarified
that these would only apply to sheep and goats. Movements of bovine
animals would not be affected. The proposal has been amended to
As I have mentioned above, Parliament have proposed
amendments to the proposal and the Austrian Presidency has recently
presented a compromise proposal, hoping to broker a First Reading
deal. The current draft covers the same main areas as the previous
draft but there have been some additions, which the UK government
believes does not change the main elements of the current Regulation.
It maintains the key BSE and TSE controls but does not reduce
the level of protection of public and animal health. The European
Parliament is due to vote on their final proposals in the week
commencing 15 May. It is anticipated that the dossier will then
go to Council towards the end of June for a Common Position.
The key areas of the compromise proposal are
that it provides the basis for country BSE risk classification
(required at the latest by 1 July 2007 when current arrangements
lapse) and maintains the current ban on the feeding of fishmeal
to ruminants whilst providing for the feeding of fishmeal to calves
(subject to strict control measures to be sent by comitology).
There is also a requirement to maintain human and animal health
protection when changes are made to the Regulations (for example
in relation to the requirements for TSE testing).
The UK will be asked to confirm support for
the Presidency's proposed compromise proposal at COREPER on 10
May for a First Reading deal. I have agreed that because of the
short timescale needed to give such agreement, the UK will support
this proposal. I would be grateful if your Committee could consider
the proposals further to indicate support before the Council meeting
8 May 2006
Letter from the Chairman to Ben Bradshaw
Thank you for your letter of 8 May 2006 which
Sub-Committee D (Environment and Agriculture) considered at its
meeting on 24 May 2006.
You previously wrote to explain that the Government
were seeking clarification on two aspects of the proposal. First,
that the proposed change in the definition of mechanically recovered
meat should not differ significantly from the current interpretation.
Second, that the proposed amendment to restrict the movement of
bovine animals on a holding where scrapie is suspected should
not be disproportionate to the risk. We are pleased that a satisfactory
resolution to these concerns has now been found. However, we would
be interested to know whether the National Sheep Association were
consulted on these issues, and whether they agree with the Government
that they have been satisfactorily resolved.
The Committee cleared the proposal from scrutiny
in June 2005. Your letter provided a useful update on progress
of the proposal.
25 May 2006
Letter from Ben Bradshaw MP to the Chairman
Thank you for your letter of 25 May requesting
information on whether the National Sheep Association had been
consulted on issues arising from a previous draft of the proposal
about mechanically recovered meat (MRM) and the restriction of
bovines on premises where scrapie is found.
Defra did not consult directly on the draft
of the Regulations, as the amendments were of a technical nature.
However, as you know, we did consult on the Commission's linked
TSE Roadmap on the changes to TSE controls which might be appropriate
in the future. There was no previous definition of MRM in the
EU TSE Regulation but there was a definition in the UK's domestic
Regulations. The new proposed EU definition is in line with the
current domestic definition so in this case there is no change
to consult upon.
The latest text whereby restrictions are only
imposed on sheep and goats on a holding where a case of scrapie
is suspected reflects current wording in Annex VII of the TSE
regulation with which the National Sheep Association is content.
11 July 2006
Letter from the Chairman to Ben Bradshaw
Thank you for your letter of 11 July concerning
the consultations which were carried out on the draft of these
Regulations. Sub-Committee D (Environment and Agriculture) took
note of the position at its meeting on 19 July.
20 July 2006