UK: Review of BSE controls to consider animal blood and 'private kills'
The review of BSE controls by the Food Standards Agency is to consider any public health issues that may arise from the possible use of animal blood in animal feed, and the practice of private kills on farms.The Agency began its review of BSE controls in April this year and the issue of private kills was raised during the public consultation process.Geoffrey Podger, Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency, said: " Our review of BSE controls was intended to be thorough and exhaustive. With the benefit of full public consultation, we have identified a number of issues where we need to ensure that the facts are clearly established. If there are any public health risks associated with these issues then the review will consider them very carefully."There have been four public meetings to consider the review of BSE controls. A fifth meeting is scheduled for 2nd November, after which the final draft of the report of the review will be considered by the Board of the Food Standards Agency. At a Press briefing given today by the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC), questions were raised about enforcement of the Over Thirty Month (OTM) Rule in relation to imported meat. There is a ban on the sale of foreign OTM meat for human consumption, except for 14 listed countries where there is not believed to be a risk. There have been allegations of companies importing beef - likely to be from OTM animals - for sale for human consumption. The Agency has followed up all allegations that have been made, and will vigorously pursue any future allegations. The Meat Hygiene Service enforces OTM rules in slaughterhouses and meat cutting plants. Local authorities are responsible for enforcement in all other premises.
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