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Mussel Farming in Scotland

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Sewel: The principal central source of funding for mussel farming projects has been the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance. This EU based scheme has assisted 19 projects with funding as follows:

Year£
1988-89119,154
1989-90210,993
1990-91--
1991-92--
1992-93--
1993-94335,318
1994-9559,755
1995-96188,302
1996-97474,108
1997-9888,855
Total1,476,485

The projects have also attracted government support of approximately £300,000 and could also have benefited from aid provided by Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. I will ask the respective chairmen to write to the noble Lord on this.

Information on how many of the businesses assisted are no longer in operation is not readily available but most are believed to be still trading. It may be of interest that production of mussels over the 10 years to 1996 inclusive (the latest year for which production

figures are available) has increased from 262 tonnes to

1,072 tonnes.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Sewel: In 1997 there were 48 full-time, 35 part-time and 21 casual staff employed in mussel farming.

Eider Ducks in the West of Scotland

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What estimates there are of the population of eider ducks in the west of Scotland in each of the last 10 years.[HL1274]

Lord Sewel: There are no separate population estimates for eider ducks in the west of Scotland. I am asking the chairman of Scottish Natural Heritage to write to the noble Lord with its advice on this matter, based on the information available to it.

ILO Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many states have ratified the ILO Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention 1958.[HL1288]

The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): As of March 1998, 130 ILO member states had ratified this convention.

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will ratify the ILO Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention 1958.[HL1289]

Baroness Blackstone: The Government have not yet ratified this convention although we are strongly committed to the principles contained in it. We are therefore currently reviewing the position towards ratification.

Beef on the Bone

Lord Stanley of Alderley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether it is within the law to serve beef on the bone from a home-killed beast to:


    (a) the owner or owners of the beast;


    (b) the family and friends of the owner or owners of the beast.[HL737]

The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Lord Donoughue): It would be permissible to serve beef on the bone only from an animal slaughtered on the owner's holding and only in circumstances restricted to private activities. It is unlawful under the regulations to supply beef on the bone.

6 Apr 1998 : Column WA88

BSE: Chronology of Controls

Lord Hardy of Wath asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When bans on the sale of those parts of beef carcasses regarded as likely to harbour bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) agents became effective; and how much time had elapsed since it was officially determined that BSE presented some risk to humans and other species.[HL1193]

Lord Donoughue: Controls in GB on those bovine tissues known to, or which might potentially, harbour detectable BSE infectivity in infected animals, have been in place since November 1989. These have been regularly reviewed and updated since then on the basis of developments in scientific advice. Details of the controls are as follows:


    13 November 1989


    The use in food for human consumption of certain specified bovine offals (SBO) prohibited in England and Wales. SBO defined as brain, spinal cord, spleen, thymus, tonsils and intestines of bovines aged over six months.


    30 January 1990


    The above prohibition extended to Scotland.


    25 September 1990


    Ban on the use of SBO extended to any animal feed.


    6 November 1991


    The use as a fertiliser of meat and bone meal produced from SBO prohibited.


    12 March 1992


    The use of the head of bovines after the skull is opened and the removal of the brain (except in areas which are free at all times from any food intended for human consumption) prohibited.


    2 November 1994


    The use of mammalian protein in ruminant feedingstuffs prohibited. SBO redefined as follows:


    brain, spinal cord, spleen, thymus, tonsils and intestines of bovines over six months old which have died or been slaughtered in the UK;


    thymus and intestines of bovines between two and six months old which have died or been slaughtered in the UK;


    thymus and intestines of bovines aged under two months which have been slaughtered in the UK for human consumption.


    15 August 1995


    Requirement to dispose of the whole skull of bovines as SBO.

6 Apr 1998 : Column WA89


    15 December 1995


    The use of bovine vertebral column in the manufacture of all MRM and in the production of certain other products for human consumption prohibited.


    29 March 1996


    Definition of SBO (now known as Specified Bovine Material--SBM) extended to include the head (including the brain but excluding the tongue) of a bovine aged over six months.


    28 March 1997


    The use of SBM and its derivatives in cosmetic, pharmaceutical or medical products prohibited.


    16 December 1997


    The sale of bone-in beef and the use of bone-in beef and beef bones in the preparation of food for sale for human consumption prohibited.


    1 January 1998


    Import of the following materials, and of any food or feedingstuff containing such materials, prohibited:


    skull, including the brain and eyes, tonsils and spinal cord of a bovine which was slaughtered or died outside the UK at an age greater than 12 months;


    brain, spinal cord, thymus, tonsils, spleen and intestines of a bovine which was slaughtered or died in the UK at an age greater than 6 months and the skull (including eyes) of such an animal which was aged over 12 months at the time of death.

It was on 20 March 1996 that the Government announced a new variant of CJD and that the most likely explanation was exposure to the BSE agent before the introduction of the SBO ban in 1989.

Horses: Human Consumption

Lord Cope of Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many horses are born in the United Kingdom each year; and how many of them are slaughtered for human consumption.[HL1202]

Lord Donoughue: Information is not held centrally on the numbers of horses born each year in the United Kingdom. Precise figures are not kept on the number of horses slaughtered in the United Kingdom for human consumption. However, total exports of horsemeat (for human consumption and other uses) from animals slaughtered in the United Kingdom totalled 2,405 tonnes in 1997.

6 Apr 1998 : Column WA90

Lord Cope of Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many horses are born in the European Union each year; and how many of them are slaughtered for human consumption.[HL1203]

Lord Donoughue: Information is not held centrally on the numbers of horses born each year in the European Union. In 1996, approximately 370 thousand horses were slaughtered for human consumption.

Lord Cope of Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which veterinary medicines or types of medicines currently used to treat horses in the United Kingdom will be banned by the European Union on the grounds that the residue of the drug might be injurious to humans if the horse were to be slaughtered for human consumption.[HL1204]

Lord Donoughue: Under Community legislation a marketing authorisation for a veterinary medicinal product intended for administration to an animal whose flesh or products are intended for human consumption cannot be granted unless a maximum residue limit has been established for the active substance(s) contained in it in accordance with the procedures established by Council Regulation 2377/90. Where a maximum residue limit cannot be established at whatever level in foodstuffs of animal origin, because the residues would constitute a hazard to the health of a consumer, the substance is listed in Annex IV to the regulation and products containing such substances and which are indicated for the treatment of animals intended for human consumption must be removed from the Community market.


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