Wednesday, 20 October 2004

Questions (148)

Billy Timmins

Question:

250 Mr. Timmins asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if there is a particular place, office or committee such as in the UK with its BSE-CJD incidents panel at which an experience with SRM could be reported in order that a person may be offered expert medical advice and that the incident be reported; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25619/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Agriculture and Food)

In relation the meat sector, the designation of SRM and the controls which are required regarding SRM are set down in EU and national regulations. The controls at meat export plants are overseen by my Department's veterinary inspectorate and those at non-export plants by the local authority veterinary services. Both my Department and the local authorities operate under a service contract with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, which also has a statutory role in auditing the procedures and the food safety controls in place throughout the meat industry. The EU food and veterinary office also audit and report on the controls in place at meat plants including those relating to the removal and disposal of SRM.

The various audits on the SRM controls operated by my Department have indicated that they are satisfactory and fully in line with best practice. It the Deputy has a specific incident in mind I will have the matter investigated. Questions relating to human health and medical advice are for the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children.