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Specified Risk Material

House of Lords written question – answered on 13th May 2002.

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Photo of Baroness Byford Baroness Byford Conservative

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the latest requirement to treat as specified risk material vertebral column from animals over 30 months, slaughtered under the Beef Allowance Scheme, differs in any way from previous requirements.

Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health)

The Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (England) Regulations 2002, which came into force on 19 April 2002, require the vertebral column of all cattle over 30 months to be removed, stained and disposed of as specified risk material. The vertebral column of such animals must be removed at cutting plants specifically licensed for the purpose, under the supervision of the Meat Hygiene Service.

In the United Kingdom, the only cattle aged over 30 months at slaughter that may enter the food chain are those from low BSE-risk beef assurance scheme (BAS) herds, as they are the only domestic animals exempt from the general prohibition on the sale for human consumption of fresh meat from bovines aged over 30 months. Previously there had been no domestic requirement to remove vertebral column from BAS animals.

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