23 November 2001

More money on table to keep an eye on feed

AN extra £7.5m has been made available to ensure animal feed is properly checked, in a bid to prevent a repeat of foot-and-mouth.

Extra money will be distributed to local authorities in England over three years to help them enforce animal feed legislation, the Food Standards Agency said. The National Assembly for Wales has already made additional resources available. Financial inputs are also expected in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The money will be used to allow more checks on animal feed, particularly when it is mixed on-farm. It will also be used to check imported animal feed, where it is believed rules are not adequately enforced, said food agency director of enforcement, David Statham.

"Consumers are put at risk if the animal feed system fails. This extra £7.5m we are providing for enforcement, should ensure better protection and increased vigilance and checks at a local level."

Much has been done through legislation and industry initiatives to minimise the presence of contaminants in feed which could ultimately affect consumers, said Mr Statham. But further work is needed at a local level to ensure the law is met. &#42