18 December 1998

OTMS for review

SEAC, the governments BSE advisory committee, will start reviewing whether the over 30-month scheme can be relaxed when it convenes in March.

According to junior farm minister Jeff Rooker, SEAC has identified criteria against which the OTMS controls can be reviewed and hopes to begin to address this at the meeting planned for March 1999. "The committee recognises that this will require careful study and will almost certainly need to be considered over several meetings," he said.

"In the light of the committees conclusions, and after consultation with interested parties, the government will consider what changes to the scheme (if any) could be made consistent with the continued protection of public health and which they might then recommend to the (EU) Commission for their consideration," said Mr Rooker.