asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will authorise the extraction of spinal columns from sheep by vacuum, as approved by the European Union, and in the light of the Food Standards Agency placing no restrictions on the import of sheep meat so processed from France and the finding of the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee that the likelihood of BSE in sheep is near zero.
I refer the noble Lord to the reply I gave him on
As regards the import of sheep meat from France, or any other member state, we have been advised that if unsplit carcases of sheep over 12 months of age are received in the United Kingdom they are, in accordance with European Union regulations, randomly checked for presence of spinal cord. This verification process will involve splitting the carcase.