The European Parliament wants sweeping changes made to the European Commission’s emergency proposals for tackling the beef and veal crisis caused by BSE, saying that Brussels’ plan falls far short of the measures needed.

MEPs said that the proposal to place into storage meat from cattle over 30 months old would worsen the current oversupply of beef. While supporting the reduction of stocking densities from 2.0 animals per hectare to 1.8, MEP’s
want farmers to be given incentives to reduce them even further. The parliament has no statutory powers to force the Commission to accept its proposals on this subject, although its views have to be “taken into account.”

By Alan Osborn, correspondent