22 December 2000
Fishmeal exemption for Scots?

By FWi staff

SCOTTISH farmers are confident that the UK will win an exemption from the EU-wide ban on feeding fishmeal to ruminants, due to take effect from 01 January.

Jim Walker, president of the National Farmers Union of Scotland, said the Ministry of Agriculture appeared willing to recall fishmeal feed.

The ban on fishmeal is part of the emergency EU-wide controls that have been implemented as a result of recent BSE scares in France and Germany.

Fishmeal is being banned following European concern that it could contaminate meat and bonemeal (MBM) which is blamed for spreading BSE.

But the UK banned MBM from all livestock diets in 1996.

Farmers who are wondering whether or not to feed existing rations that include fishmeal after the 01 January deadline should go ahead, said Mr Walker.

“We believe the UK government will win a derogation from this EU ruling that will allow us to continue to feed fishmeal to ruminants,” he said.

A Scottish Executive official told FARMERS WEEKLY that no legislation had been introduced in Scotland to impose a ban from 01 January.

The reason, he said, was lack of time in the run-up to Christmas. However a feed recall scheme was still being considered, he added.