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Meat Inspection

Volume 958: debated on Tuesday 14 November 1978

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the outcome of the meeting of representatives of the disciplines involved in meat inspection at which he took the chair and to which reference was made by his hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Official Report, 2nd November 1976, column 1360.

At the meeting held on 30th November 1976 it was agreed to set up a working group, the meat hygiene working group, to review the future relationships between the three disciplines involved in meat and meat products hygiene. After several meetings, the group produced in July 1977 a set of compromise recommendations which had the agreement of the whole group, including the representatives of the Environmental Health Officers' Association, the Association of Meat Inspectors and the British Veterinary Association. One of these recommendations was that slaughterhouses involved in exports to EEC countries should be subject to additional regulations which would require EEC export standards, including veterinary supervision, to be maintained at all times. The recommendations were then issued for comment to interested organisations and a number of opposing representations were received. The Environmental Health Officers' Association, after an extraordinary general meeting, decided to oppose the recommendation on permanent veterinary supervision of export slaughterhouses. It was announced, in reply to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Brigg and Scunthorpe (Mr. Ellis) on 15th February 1978—[Vol. 944, c. 259.]—that the Government had concluded, in the light of all the comments received, that the recommendations of the group provided a reasonable and workable compromise and that we proposed to adopt them for purposes of future action. It is on this basis that proposals for the Meat Export (Hygiene and Meat Inspection) Regulations were later circulated for comments.