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Imported Poultrymeat

Volume 79: debated on Friday 24 May 1985

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, (1) what further steps he will take to enforce the regulations concerning imported poultry and their water content;(2) what further resources are available to provide adequate enforcement officers to deal with poultrymeat imports.

The actual enforcement of both hygiene and water content requirements in respect of imported poultrymeat, and the allocation of resources to that task, remains a function of local and port health authorities. But the Government made our concern over the quality of imported chicken quite clear when, from September 1984, we extended enforcement responsibility under the water content regulations to port health authorities, to enable consignments to be checked in the ports. When we receive notification of infringements under the regulations, we pass the details on to the appropriate authorities within the European Community. We continue to seek the co-operation of other member states in ensuring that consignments do comply with legal requirements. In addition, the Ministry maintains close liaison with the enforcement authorities; my officials will be meeting their representatives shortly to exchange views.