26 July 2002

Illegal meat guilty

CATERING waste containing illegally imported meat infected with the virus has been confirmed as the most likely origin of the start of the crisis by the report.

It acknowledged that a lot of alternative explanations of the origin and mechanism of spread of the disease had been put forward.

But the report said a selection of the theories had been investigated and "in no case has the suspicion stood up to scrutiny".

DEFRA secretary, Margaret Beckett, said Dr Anderson acknowledged the reports recommendation that more effective import controls were needed. But she said it would never be possible to eliminate the possibility of disease striking completely.