7 March 1997

EU drug sample rules

MORE cattle will be sampled on farms for drug residues under EU rules due to come into effect by July 1.

The new rules, which require that 50% of sampling of cattle for residue testing must be done on-farm, will also increase costs.

Meat inspection charges are set to rise as a result of the directive by £300,000, or 12%, and the Meat Hygiene Service, which is responsible for enforcing the rules, is seeking a 4.5% increase in its funding. To comply with the directive, on-farm residue testing in the UK will rise from 780 to 3148 for cattle and from nil to 137 for pigs. On-farm testing sheep is not required.

There will also be a rise of almost 1000 in the number of samples taken from cattle at abattoirs.

MAFF has estimated the cost of collecting cattle samples on farms will be almost £1m compared with less than a third of that for all samples taken at abattoirs. &#42