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Specified Bovine Offals: Inspection Visits

Lord Gainford asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Lucas: The State Veterinary Service (SVS) continued to make unannounced visits to slaughterhouses, hunt kennels and knackeries in November and December 1995 to monitor their handling of Specified Bovine Offals (SBOs). The results of these visits were:
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SlaughterhousesHunt Kennels and Knackeries
November 1995
Number visits365234
Number unsatisfactory visits4438
Percentage unsatisfactory1219
December 1995
Number visits272193
Number unsatisfactory visits1714
Percentage unsatisfactory67

Many of the failings found were of a comparatively mild nature—for example, problems with staining SBOs or with record keeping. There were however some more serious cases, including incidents in which small pieces of spinal cord were left attached to carcases after dressing in slaughterhouses. Eight such instances were detected in November and two in December, the most recent on 14 December; there have been none so far in January 1996. A total of 21 instances in which spinal cord was left attached to carcases have now been detected since the SVS surveillance programme of slaughterhouses began in the summer.

The results of similar surveillance visits to rendering and incineration plants handling SBOs will be announced shortly.

We welcome these significant improvements in the handling of SBOs by slaughterhouses, hunt kennels and knackeries. We expect those that have attained a satisfactory level of performance to maintain the standards they are now achieving, and would expect that those plants which have failed to do so will work harder to ensure they do fully comply with the controls. The SVS will continue its unannounced surveillance visits to plants handling SBOs.

National Maritime Museum: De-accessions

Lord Freyberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of National Heritage (Lord Inglewood): The museum's board of trustees is best placed to advise on the merits of whether or not to retain an object. The Secretary of State accordingly takes her decision on the basis of the case put to her by the museum for each disposal.

Lord Freyberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Inglewood: The National Maritime Museum does not require the Secretary of State's permission under its Act of 1934 to dispose of duplicates. However, I understand that since 1990, 10 duplicate paintings have been sold. Details are below. In most cases the disposal was by auction and the final purchaser was not known.

Information on paintings sold prior to 1990 is not held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.
TitleArtistYearMethodAmount Raised
Portrait of De Ruyter1993Auction£1,200
Portrait of De Ruyter1993Auction£700
Portrait of George IIIStyle of Reynolds
Battle of Trafalgar1995Auction£4,500
Dutch Vessel before the windBritish School1995Auction£500
Landing Party Fort RoyalStyle of
W. Anderson
Admiral Sir George RookeDahl1995Auction£2,400
Battle of Quiberon BayAttributed to Serres1995Auction£12,000
Charles IMytens1995Auction£9,000
Admiral LGK Elphinstone
1st Viscount KeithSaunders1995Sale to Scottish United Services Museum£3,000

Lord Freyberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Inglewood: When disposing of an object which has been de-accessioned, the National Maritime Museum follows current Museums Association guidelines. Under these guidelines, unwanted objects are advertised in the Museums Journal to give interested parties the opportunity to make their interest known. In some cases the museum has approached other national institutions when it is known or thought they may have an interest. The terms of any transfer of objects between two museums are a matter for the parties.

Parliamentary Documents in Electronic Form

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked the Chairman of Committees:

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Boston of Faversham): Hansard, Public Bills and Select Committee reports are mostly originated in electronic
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form but no category is yet exclusively originated in that form. The question of electronic distribution is under active consideration in both Houses.

HMSO Supply and Service Agreement

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked the Chairman of Committees:

The Chairman of Committees: The Supply and Service Agreement is not contractual is not intended to be enforceable at law. In the event of HMSO being privatised, the agreement will have to be replaced by one or more legally enforceable contracts.

Parliamentary Copyright: Administration

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked the Chairman of Committees:

The Chairman of Committees: Parliamentary copyright is administered by HMSO at present. Decisions have not yet been taken about the future administration of parliamentary copyright, in the event of HMSO being privatised. Since part of HMSO may remain in the public sector to administer Crown copyright, one option is for that part to be invited to administer parliamentary copyright under agreements with both Houses.

Trident: Refitting Contract

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Earl Howe): Negotiations on the design and build of the facilities for refitting Vanguard class and, ultimately, all nuclear powered submarines at Devonport are proceeding with the consortium forming Devonport Management Ltd. While negotiations are proceeding it would not be appropriate to speculate about the outcome. A decision on contract award is expected in the first part of this year. The ultimate ownership of any company entrusted with the work would have no effect on the operational independence of the national deterrent.
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