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Welcome for BSE testing proposal

The proposed ending of BSE testing for healthy slaughtered cattle, on which a Defra consultation is currently running, has been welcomed by SAMW. An equivalent consultation for Scotland is due shortly.

According to the current Defra proposal, the ending of testing for healthy slaughtered cattle is expected to apply from the end of the first quarter of 2013.

“We very much welcome this proposal,” Ian Anderson, the Association’s Executive Manager, told the Meat Trades Journal. “We have said for some time, in fact, that while the need for BSE controls to be imposed quickly at the time was paramount, the authorities have been slow to wind them down even when the evidence supported that. We are very pleased therefore that this science-based proposal has come forward. It will save the Scottish industry almost half a million pounds a year at a time when the economics of beef processing are very difficult.”

Mr Anderson also took the opportunity to highlight two other areas of ‘testing concern’, adding: “We now need further proposals to re-classify most of the bovine intestine and the mesentery fat as Category 3 animal by products and end the need to remove the spinal cord from older sheep. The benefits which these measures would deliver, without compromising public health, would far outweigh those from the BSE testing of healthy slaughter cattle.”

Full Defra statement