The purpose of these regulations is restricted to implementing Article 1.9 of Directive 97/76/EC by replacing the conditions in Part III of Schedule 5 of the Meat Products (Hygiene) Regulations 1994 relating to stomachs, bladders and intestines. The rest of the Directive is made up of clarifications to Directive 77/99/EEC which have no impact on GB legislation.
In a previous letter, 27 February 1997, it was explained that Directive 97/76/EC will regularise the trade in casings imported from third countries, so that it is possible for countries which do not have EC-approved slaughterhouses to export casings processed in hygienic conditions to the EU. Such casings will have to be accompanied by certification that they are produced from animals which have undergone ante-mortem and post-mortem inspection and that they have been handled, stored, wrapped, packaged and transported in hygienic conditions. The Directive will provide EU producers with a supply of casings which meet necessary standards and represents a maintenance of current hygienic conditions.
Member States are required to bring into force by 1 January 1999 the regulations necessary to comply with 97/76/EC. It will not be possible for the UK to carry out a full consultation exercise by the target date. However the industry will wish to be aware of the additional requirements in Article 1.9 of Directive 97/76, and of the fact that they will be legal requirements in those Member States which do implement this Directive by the target date.
Comments on the draft regulations are requested by 8 December 1998