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Zoos Forum

Baroness Anelay of St Johns asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Whitty: Members of the Zoos Forum were appointed for their knowledge and expertise on zoos, not as representatives of organisations.

A wide range of organisations with an interest in zoos were consulted on the proposed revised Secretary of State's Standards of Modern Zoo Practice.

Minutes have been taken of all Zoos Forum meetings and will be published on the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions website as soon as possible.

SEAC: Safety of Gelatin and Tallow

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman): SEAC last looked at the safety of gelatin and tallow in October 1997. The committee concluded that no further measures were necessary. Following its recom- mendations on precautionary measures in relation to human blood in October 1997, it reviewed the use of bovine blood in animal feed in March 1998 and saw no need to go beyond existing controls.

In February 2000 SEAC considered preliminary evidence suggesting infectivity could be demonstrated in the blood plasma of mice experimentally infected with a mouse adapted BSE agent. The committee noted that the pathogenesis of the disease caused by BSE in mice was different to the pathogenesis of BSE in cattle but more similar to that of TSEs in sheep and humans. Given the difference in the pathogenesis of the disease in cattle and this mouse model, and taking account of the results of bioassays of cattle tissues in both mice and cattle, the committee concluded that there were no implications for the safety of the food chain from these findings. SEAC will continue to review these areas in the light of new scientific evidence.

8 May 2000 : Column WA210

TSE Researchers Meeting

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Why the recent meeting of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy researchers in Keele was held in private; who was invited to it; what confidentiality agreements they were required to sign; and whether the minutes of that meeting will now be published.[HL 2032]

Baroness Hayman: A Joint Funders Workshop on TSE Research in the UK was held in Keele (4-6 April 2000). This comprised a meeting of funded scientists working in the field of TSEs, department/research council officials and five members of SEAC (Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee). Meetings of this type have been held annually by the BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) for a number of years. The first joint meeting with the participation of other funders was held in 1998. The purpose of these meetings is to inform the funding bodies of the progress being made in the work they are supporting, to share results and encourage collaboration and networking between the scientists. The researchers present were funded by one or more of the following funding bodies: BBSRC, Department of Health, Medical Research Council and MAFF. Two international guest speakers were also invited. This was a closed meeting as interim results were presented, and most of the research work discussed was pre-publication. For this reason, a confidentiality agreement was signed by conference delegates. Written reports covering all sessions of the workshop will be circulated to the funders. However, the proceedings will not be published.

Veterinary Laboratories Agency: Targets

Lord Dubs asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What targets they have set the Veterinary Laboratories Agency for 2000-01.[HL2279]

Baroness Hayman: My right honourable friend the Minister has set the Veterinary Laboratories Agency the following performance targets for 2000-01. Efficiency 1. To deliver the efficiency savings in the Efficiency Plan. Service Delivery 2. To achieve 85 per cent of ROAME R&D milestones. 3. To deliver 90 per cent of export tests to published turnaround times. Service Quality 4. (a) To achieve UKAS accreditation for appropriate export testing in Laboratory Testing Department.


    (b) To maintain the current accreditation programme.

8 May 2000 : Column WA211


    (c) To improve the VLA teamscore under the EFQM Excellence Model. 5. Financial Performance


    To recover the full economic cost (before exceptional items and calculated in accordance with resource accounting principles) of its services. 6. To operate within 95 per cent and 100 per cent of allocations by the MAFF Management Board for running costs, capital and receipts.

Veterinary Medicines Directorate: Targets

Lord Dubs asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What targets they have set the Veterinary Medicines Directorate for 2000-01.[HL2280]

Baroness Hayman: My right honourable friend the Minister has set the Veterinary Medicines Directorate the following performance targets for 2000-01. Safety and Quality 1. To provide high quality scientific assessment work. 2. To provide high quality policy advice to Ministers. 3. To comply with the timetables for entering Suspected Adverse Reactions (SAR) reports set out in the Plan and to report to the Veterinary Products Committee each quarter reviewing trends in SAR reports and identifying areas requiring evaluation. 4. To meet, in full, the requirements of the National Residues Surveillance Plan. Standards of Service 5. To comply with the timetables for handling applications under the centralised, decentralised and UK procedures set out in the Plan. Efficiency 6. To collect data for 2000-01 as the base year that will enable efficiency changes to be calculated in 2001-02. Financial Control 7. To recover from industry and Government the full economic cost (calculated according to resource accounting principles) of its main business activities of:


    licensing and surveillance;


    policy work;


    residue monitoring;


    as a whole, without cross subsidy between these activities. 8. To operate within 95 per cent to 100 per cent of allocations by the MAFF Management Board for running costs, capital and receipts. PLAN Suspected Adverse Reactions Surveillance Scheme reports:


    enter human reports onto the database within 2 working days

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    enter serious animal reports onto the database within 2 working days


    enter non-serious animal reports onto the database within 10 working days. Centralised Procedures:


    All assessments (including Maximum Residues Limits) to be submitted within timetables agreed with the European Medicines Evaluation Agency. Decentralised Procedures:


    All authorisations to be determined within the regulatory timetables. UK Procedures:


    93 per cent of new marketing authorisations to be determined or referred to the Veterinary Products Committee within 120 clock days; all to be determined within 210 clock days.


    95 per cent of valid variation applications to have first assessment within 70 clock days; all to be determined within 150 clock days.


    95 per cent of valid renewal applications to have first assessment within 85 clock days; all to be determined within 180 clock days.

Pesticide Safety Directorate: Targets

Lord Dubs asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What targets they have set the Pesticide Safety Directorate for 2000-01.[HL2281]

Baroness Hayman: My right honourable friend the Minister set the Pesticide Safety Directorate the following performance targets for 2000-01. Quality of Service 1. To deliver the throughput of applications and processing times set out in the plan. 2. To deliver high quality policy advice to Ministers and respond positively to their policy objectives. 3. To deliver high quality scientific work. 4. To respond positively to the results of the Customer Satisfaction Survey. Efficiency 5. To meet the efficiency indicator targets in the agreed Efficiency Plan. Financial Performance 6. To recover from industry and Government the full economic cost (calculated according to resource accounting principles) of its services 7. To operate within 95 per cent and 100 per cent of allocations by the MAFF Management Board for running costs, capital and receipts.

8 May 2000 : Column WA213

PLAN New Substances and Reviews

Application TypePlanned receiptsPlanned completionsProcessing time (weeks)
New Active Substances:1512 6
Sift131252
Evaluation--full resubmission 7 652
Reviews--UK
UK anticholinesterase review programme--full reviews 2 7--
Other UK review activity 1016--
Reviews--EC
EU rapporteur reviews
Position on Annex 1 decisions 1110--
Total586390%*

The figures for New Substances and Reviews are based on work in hand and forecasts from Industry and the Commission.


Technical Secretariat

Application TypePlanned receiptsPlanned completionsProcessing time (weeks)
Normal32035039
Departmental Normal101048
Experimental Permit Departmental5526
Experimental Permit5548
Extrapolated Experimental Approval101013
Emergency Off Label252510
Non-Emergency Off Label404032
Fast22022013
Parallel Imports505010
Administrative Fast5505504
Post Annex 1 Approvals5555--
Mutual Recognition5526
Other530--
Total1,3001,355--
Total of Tables 1 & 21,3581,41890%*

* Overall targets--90% of applications with a stated processing time must be completed within that time.



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