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Sheep Meat Smokies

Volume 506: debated on Friday 26 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on the legalisation of the practice of preparing sheep meat smokies in the last 12 months. (318909)

None. However, the hon. Member will recall that my predecessor, my right hon. Friend the Member for Torfaen (Mr. Murphy), met the hon. Member and a representative of the Farmers Union Wales on 22 April 2008 and subsequently made representations to DEFRA Ministers.

I am informed that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and representatives of the UK meat industry have indicated that it is possible to produce such meat safely and hygienically in approved slaughterhouses.

The FSA is in discussion with the European Union to allow production of smoked skin-on sheep meat, commonly known as “smokies” for human consumption.

In the meantime, the production of smoked skin-on sheep meat for human consumption remains illegal. The FSA will continue to work closely with local authorities to take action against those breaching the relevant food hygiene and animal welfare regulations.