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Decline In BSE Could See TSE Restrictions Relaxed

20 July 2010
National Farmers Union

UK - The National Farmers' Union (NFU) supports the latest strategic plan for the unwinding of TSE restrictions across Europe via the publication of the Commission’s TSE Roadmap 2. The Roadmap follows on from a continual decline in BSE across Europe.

NFU livestock board chairman Alistair Mackintosh said the NFU had always believed consumer was king and securing their confidence in the safety of British red meat had always been the industry’s major priority.

“The NFU had always recognised the importance of consumer safety and confidence, and the need for robust controls following BSE in the 1990s,” said Mr Mackintosh.

“BSE was a disaster for the UK livestock industry, destroying the livelihoods of many producers. It has recovered and farmers rightly take pride in the red meat they produce - its safety is of paramount importance.

“Following the publication of the second Roadmap we believe the time has come to re-evaluate these controls and where appropriate relax them based on sound scientific advice. It is important that the rules are proportionate to any risk posed.

“I am also delighted that the Commission now recognises the risk of TSE’s in the food chain is negligible and it has reduced to such a point that we can now look at ways to relax these controls.

“The NFU has lobbied the EU Commission hard on this issue through its dedicated staff in Brussels for many years and I believe there are some real wins for industry here. Ideally, I would like to see the BSE testing and SRM removal ages lifted and I hope that the scope of the roadmap will enable the sheep-splitting age to be lifted from 12 months. I look forward to working closely with the Commission on this matter and I hope we can turn these proposals into a reality for the benefit of producers and consumers alike.”

TheCattleSite News Desk



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