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Bse Testing: Meat Hygiene Service

Volume 670: debated on Thursday 3 March 2005

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the independent inquiry into the Meat Hygiene Service's failure to test cattle aged between 24 to 30 months for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, who within the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is authorised to change instructions on this subject; and what process led to the withdrawal of the right of official veterinary surgeons to exercise professional judgment on testing. [HLl307]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(Lord Whitty)

The content of the instructions issued to the Meat Hygiene Service on the testing of cattle aged between 24 and 30 months for BSE is subject to discussion between the relevant division in Defra, and its counterparts in the MHS and the FSA.Following publication of the report by the independent inquiry team (chaired by Professor Patrick Wall), these instructions, and the terms of the service level agreement (SLA) between Defra and the MHS, governing these arrangements, have been amended to reflect the recommendations made by the Wall Group.