To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the methods of BSE transmission since the ban on certain forms of offal in animal feed. 
This Department has an extensive programme of research on BSE. Results are published in scientific journals. Details are also contained in the latest report of the Spongiform Encephalopathies Advisory Committee—"Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies—A Summary of Present Knowledge and Research", published in February this year. In addition, they are detailed in the regular reports on BSE which MAFF makes to the House. Copies of these reports are available in the Library of the House.
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many cases have been discovered of prohibited forms of offal being put into animal feeds since the ban was introduced, and if he will make a statement. 
We are not aware of any cases of Specified Bovine Offals being put directly into animal feeds since the ban was introduced. However, the fact that we are continuing to see cases of BSE in animals born after the introduction of the feed ban in July 1988 suggests that there has been some continued leakage of BSE infective material into feed. The results of recent surveillance at slaughterhouses and head boning plants, announced in the House on 19 July, Official Report, 19 July 1995, columns 1467–68, also suggested that this was a possibility.
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the rate of enforcement of the ban on the use of certain forms of offal in animals feeds, with particular reference to restricting BSE transmission; and if he will make a statement. 
The state veterinary service regularly monitors the enforcement of the controls in slaughterhouse and elsewhere, on specified bovine offals, which are required to be separated and disposed of by incineration or burial. The results of recent surveillance of slaughterhouses and head boning plants were announced in the House on 19 July, Official Report, 19 July 1995, columns 1467–48.
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many cases of maternally transmitted BSE have been recorded in the United Kingdom herd, for each of the last seven years; and how many cases of BSE have been recorded for each of the last seven years. 
There is no experimental or epidemiological evidence available to confirm that maternal transmission of BSE occurs. Results of research to test the hypothesis that the disease might be transmitted maternally will not be available until 1997, when a definitive cohort study will be completed. It is already clear, however, that if maternal transmission does occur, it does so too infrequently to be detected with current statistical techniques or to sustain the epidemic.The following list of the number of confirmed cases of BSE in United Kingdom up to 13 October 1995. The cases prior to 21 June 1988 are recorded by date of clinical onset of disease and the cases thereafter are recorded by date of restriction.
- 1986: 7
- 1987: 435
- 1988: 2,469
- 1989: 7,137
- 1990: 14,181
- 1991: 25,032
- 1992: 36,681
- 1993: 34,371
- 1994: 23,943
- 1995: 9,602
It is not possible to identify routes of transmission for each individual suspect given the long incubation period BSE, and considerable potential for exposure via feed. Evidence gathered when individual cases are investigated forms the basis of a statistical analysis on a population basis.
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the budget of his Department to ensure regulations relating to BSE and the use of offal in feeds have been enforced, and if he will make a statement. 
The BSE manpower budget for this Department, excluding agencies, for the current financial year is £4.2 million. It is not possible, without disproportionate costs, to identify enforcement costs separately.
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the budget and how many staff are involved in monitoring the prohibited forms of bovine offal entering human food. 
Enforcement of the controls on specified bovine offal in slaughterhouses and head boning plants is the responsibility of the Meat Hygiene Service. The MHS currently employs 778 red meat inspectors in day to day enforcement work at red meat plants—pig, sheep and cattle—which includes the enforcement of the SBO controls. The cost of this work is not recoverable from the industry.The total budget for these staff for the current financial year is £12,180,000. It is not possible, without disproportionate costs, to identify from among the non-recoverable costs the enforcement costs from the SBO controls alone.
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in how many cases in the last five years prohibited forms of offal have been found entering human food; and what fines have been imposed. 
No such cases have been notified to this Department. However, until 1 April 1995 local authorities were responsible for enforcement of the controls on specified bovine offal in slaughterhouses and head boning plants. Information on enforcement before that date is not therefore held centrally. It is not possible, without disproportionate costs, to collect and collate this information from local authorities.Since 1 April 1995 the Meat Hygiene Service has been responsible for enforcement of the controls. We know of no instances where SBOs have entered the human food chain. We are aware of four cases where small amounts of SBO had been left attached to carcases after dressing but these were properly removed before the carcases left the premises.