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Sheep: Slaughterhouses

Volume 507: debated on Tuesday 9 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he has made a recent assessment of the effects on (a) market transparency and (b) price comparison of variations in standards of sheep carcase dressing; and if he will bring forward legislative proposals to reinstate the dressing specification previously enforced by the Meat and Livestock Commission. (320806)

A report was prepared for DEFRA in November 2008 reviewing the EU carcase classification system for beef and sheep in the light of common agricultural policy reform. This included an assessment of the need for classification in providing transparency.

Under EU legislation, classification of sheep carcases according to the Community scale remains voluntary for member states. DEFRA has no plans to bring forward legislative proposals to make such classification compulsory. Dressing specifications for sheep carcases are a matter for industry supply chains.