To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps have been and are being taken to ensure that potentially contaminated sheep taken to Staffordshire from restricted areas of Cumbria are being monitored.
Sheep may only be sold out of the restricted area of Cumbria after live monitoring. Those found to be above 1,000 bq/kg must be indentified by clipping on the head and neck and marking with a distinctive long lasting paint of a specified colour. It is an offence to slaughter sheep until all sheep of that specified colour have been released from control or the individual animal has been subsequently live monitored and found to be below the 1,000 bq/kg level. In this case it is identified with a distinctive Ministry ear tag as being no longer under slaughter restriction.All slaughterhouse, livestock market and showground operators in Staffordshire have been informed in writing of the details of these controls and any changes to them, correspondence being copied to the local authority.