Food Law News - UK - 1996

12 June 1996: BSE CONTROLS - Proposed Fresh Meat (Beef Controls) Regulations 1996

MAFF Letter - 12th June 1996

BSE CONTROLS - Proposed Fresh Meat (Beef Controls) Regulations 1996

When the present BSE scare erupted in late March (as a result of the revised advice from the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee) the Government issued the Beef (Emergency Control) Order 1996, effective from the 29th March. It prohibited the sale for human consumption of meat from bovine animals which, at the time of slaughter, had more than one pair of permanent incisors. The aim was to exclude from the food chain meat from cattle more than 30 months old. The Order was a temporary measure under Section 13 of the Food Safety Act 1990. There were plans to replace it with a de-boning scheme.

However, the plan is now to retain the controls but replace them with new Regulations using Section 16 of the Act. The controls would retain the main substance of the first Order but they will provide for additional flexibility when the proposed beef assurance scheme (BAS) becomes operational. The controls do extend the prohibition to possession for sale and offering or exposing for sale as well as sale itself.

The proposed Regulations contain an Annex of countries (free of BSE) from where meat from bovine animals can be obtained and sold as an exception to the prohibition. The countries listed are:
Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Mauritius, Namibia, New Zealand, Paraguay, Poland, South Africa, Swaziland, Uruguay, USA, Zimbabwe.

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