14 June 1996

Plans unveiled for recall of on-farm residual stocks

By Shelley Wright

THE GOVERNMENT has announced details of its scheme to recall all residual stocks of meat and bonemeal held on farms or in feed mills.

Junior farm minister, Angela Browning, said the government would finance the scheme, to be administered by supply trade body UKASTA.

Mrs Browning also announced draft legislation that would make it a criminal offence, with fines of up to £5000, for anyone to possess MBM. The deadline for comments on the draft legislation is July 1 and MAFF hopes to introduce the offence on Aug 1.

The first feed action, banning the use of ruminant protein in ruminant rations, was in July 1988. MAFF then banned the inclusion of MBM in all livestock feed from Mar 29 this year along with the subsequent ban on feeding it to stock which came into effect on Apr 4.

Mrs Browning said: "We banned this feed for cattle when it was identified as the problem. We banned it from other animals when we suspected some of their feed may have got to cattle through cross contamination. Now we are eliminating it from the country."

In a letter sent to farmers and feed firms this week MAFF offered to collect and dispose of any residual stocks of MBM free of charge. But the letter added that no compensation would be paid.

Anyone who wants MBM collected must complete a form, enclosed with the letter, and return it by June 26. UKASTA hopes to begin collections next week, with all stocks of MBM removed by July 24.

MAFF has also advised that equipment and storage facilities which have been used for MBM or MBM feed should be thoroughly cleaned to avoid contamination of new feedstuffs.

"Our advice is to clean your storage facilities immediately following the collection," the letter states.

And anyone who is unsure if their livestock feed contains MBM is advised to check with their supplier.