25 December 1998

Compulsory BSE cull

REGULATIONS making compulsory the cull of all offspring born since Aug 1, 1996 to BSE cases confirmed before Nov 25, 1998, have been laid before Parliament. The law will come into force in January.

The cull, which takes account of potential maternal transmission of BSE, has been operating voluntarily since August. Since then, according to farm minister, Nick Brown, more than 1000 cattle have been slaughtered.

Making the cull compulsory was part of the deal reached with the EU to lift the export ban under the date-based scheme.

"We have known for some time that this cull would be necessary and started it on a voluntary basis in August. We have been waiting for the formal adoption of the Commission Decision in order to make it compulsory and ensure that the cull is properly carried out," Mr Brown said.

The compulsory cull would clear the way for the resumption of beef exports. &#42