Skip to main content

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

Volume 174: debated on Tuesday 12 June 1990

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he is taking to act on the recommendations from the Tyrrell report with regard to holding a formal study of the health of species fed offal, including pigs and poultry, and of animals such as hounds fed fallen livestock; and if he will make a statement.

Studies are being conducted at the central veterinary laboratory involving the parenteral and oral exposure of pigs and poultry to brain material from cattle confirmed as having BSE. An examination of hounds' brains is being planned.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he has taken to satisfy himself that the infective agent responsible for bovine spongiform encephalopathy cannot be transmitted through milk; and if he will make a statement.

Milk has never been shown to transmit any of the spongiform encephalopathies, and studies into scrapie have not found the agent in milk. Nevertheless, studies are taking place, using milk from BSE cattle, to confirm these findings. In addition, as a precautionary measure, milk from animals suspected of having BSE is banned from human and animal consumption.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he expects to receive a copy of the longer report from Dr. Tyrrell referred to in the Official Report on 21 May, column 85.

My right hon. Friend the Minister has asked the Tyrrell committee to provide the report as soon as possible.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has any proposals for the payment of compensation for losses incurred by United Kingdom farmers and dealers incurred as a result of bans on imports by European Community Governments in the light of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 8 June 1990]: No sir. Community market support continued throughout the period covered by the French, German and Italian import bans. It would not be possible to isolate the market impact of these bans.Of course individuals would be able to obtain legal advice as to whether they could seek damages in the country concerned for specific effects of the disruption.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food under what circumstances histopathological examination is undertaken of bovines born since August 1988; and how many such examinations have been carried out.

[holding answer 8 June 1990]: The brains of all animals suspected of being affected by BSE are examined by histopathology. To date, four such examinations have been conducted on bovines born since August 1988; all were negative for BSE.