Animal Health Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:30 pm on 7th October 2002.

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Photo of Lord Whitty Lord Whitty Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 6:30 pm, 7th October 2002

I believe that the noble Countess is right on that point. That is why we refer to a combination of de-boning and treatment. The meat is not required to be cooked.

The noble Earl is correct to say that we import from both Uruguay and Argentina. In Argentina, following the last outbreak of foot and mouth there, they have reverted to a process of what is effectively pre-emptive vaccination. Therefore, virtually all meat from Argentina has to be subject to those controls. There are other parts of the world where foot and mouth is endemic. Some regions have been excluded from exporting to Europe while others have retained that ability—South Africa being one and Botswana another. In those cases we are not talking about foot and mouth being currently endemic in the regions from which the meat is imported. I do not know whether that helps to clarify the position for the noble Earl. If there are greater complications, I had better write to him.