Meat wholesalers urge reinstatement of MBM in feeds
By Catherine Hughes
THE Federation of Fresh Meat wholesalers have called for the re-introduction of meat and bonemeal for animal feeds to enable it to compete with other EU countries which still use it export meat to the UK.
Federation president Richard Cracknell told delegates at the federations annual conference that MBM must be reintroduced into animal feeds even if restricted to pigs and poultry diets initially. "Especially as we are set to import 200,000t of beef in 1998 from countries where they use MBM.
"We are being disadvantaged," he said, "And it looks as though the UK government is content to let the whole of the reduction required in the EU beef production to come from the UK.
He said that the UK beef supply was drying up through the OTMS and the calf processing aid scheme and once BSE had disappeared the UK would be unable to supply the home market.
But first of all the industry is in need of a morale boost which could only be served by a lifting of the beef ban, he claimed.
"We have lost our fight on the rendering subsidy on Apr 1," he said, "which means that costs will have to go back to producers."
Chairman of SEAC the governments advisory body on BSE, however, said that the ban on MBM had proved so successful in removing BSE that it was highly unlikely that MBM would ever be allowed to be included in animal feeds.
The Meat and Livestock Commission added that it was very keen to get value added to by-products as quickly as possible but did not consider that the time was right to reintroduce MBM because it depended on public acceptability. "We do not want to put a foot wrong and delay the lifting of the ban in any way," claimed a spokesman.