16 December 1998
Former agriculture minister says safety failures in BSE handling

DOUGLAS Hogg, who was agriculture minister when the government admitted the possibility that BSE could be passed to humans, is giving evidence at the official inquiry into the disease.

Mr Hogg, who was agriculture minister from July 1995 until May 1997, will tell the inquiry that failure to comply with regulations probably led BSE-infected material getting into the human food chain.

In a written statement issued yesterday, Mr Hogg said that 65% of the 435 inspected slaughterhouses and meat processing plants failed to comply with rules banning specified animal parts from the human food chain.

But he emphasises that up until February 1996 experts did not claim there was a link between BSE and a new variant of Creutzfeldt Jakob disease in humans.

  • Financial Times 16/12/98 page 13

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