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Poultry Industry

Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has for ensuring that the UK poultry industry is able to remain competitive; and if she will make a statement. [130207]

From the industry's perspective, the principal need is for Government to avoid unnecessary burdens or obstacles, while ensuring that standards (including those related to the environment and animal health and welfare) meet public requirements.

Our priorities in this sector are to continue to act where there is clear evidence of illegal competition from third countries; within overall government policy, to work to achieve a satisfactory WTO agreement; domestically and internationally, to strike an appropriate balance between need for regulation and overburdening industry; in line with the Government's wider Sustainable Farming and Food Strategy, to encourage industry to look increasingly towards value added/premium products; to support poultry industry participation in Defra's sustainability forum; and to continue to participate fully in EU negotiations on animal welfare issues affecting the poultry industry.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the suppliers of poultry meat whose consignments have been found to contain nitrofurans, indicating in each case the date of detection and the subsequent period of time during which imports from that source were stopped. [129406]

I have been asked to reply.Poultry meat consignments (from Thailand and Brazil) are required to be tested for nitrofurans before they are allowed into the food chain. Any consignments containing nitrofurans above the reporting limit are destroyed. The results are also reported to the European Commission (EC) through the rapid alert system for food and feed (RASFF). The EC has made it clear that supplier details contained in these rapid alerts are confidential.Records of United Kingdom raised RASFFs show that nitrofurans residues were detected in the following consignments of poultry sampled on the dates shown in the table.

Dates of sampling for nitrofuran positive poultry samples (UK)
20022003
25 March (3 samples)22 July1 February
26 March24 July19 February
29 March31 October25 March
30 March1 November
5 April19 November
23 April21 November
4 May2 December
10 July

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make it her policy to make representations to the European Commission to delist third country plants that have been found to have exported poultry meat containing nitrofurans into the European Union. [129407]

I have been asked to reply.Representation has been made to the European Commission (EC) to delist third country plants exporting products of animal origin containing illegal veterinary residues, for example, nitrofurans and chloramphenicol. The EC is responsible for pursuing this issue with the third countries concerned to ensure that plants for which repeated failures are reported are delisted.