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It is because there has been concern about the total effectiveness of the feed ban that we are, as I shall explain to the House, introducing a feed recall scheme. As from 1 August, it will be a criminal offence and illegal for farms, merchants and feed mills to have meat and bonemeal on their premises.
Action is already in hand in relation to all the preconditions that we need to meet to get the export ban lifted. The cattle passport system will be introduced next week. As from 1 July, it will be compulsory for all cattle, born here or imported, to have a passport. We shall develop the system further to require compulsory double tagging in the autumn and the introduction of fully computerised recording of all cattle movements shortly thereafter.
The recall scheme for meat and bonemeal has already begun; more than 5,000 farms, feed merchants and mills have contacted the Department and 8,000 tonnes of material have been registered for collection. The collection started yesterday and will run until 24 July. As from 1 August, it will be illegal for farms, merchants and feed mills to have meat and bonemeal on the premises.
Since the scheme started, we have made significant inroads into the backlog of cattle over 30 months old waiting to be slaughtered.