19 May 2000

SRM controls fail to win vet backing

EU vets have failed to back a commission proposal for pan-European controls on specified risk materials at their fortnightly meeting in Brussels.

The plan calls for a two-tier system, with a long list of SRMs to be destroyed in the UK and Portugal, and a shorter list for everyone else (News, May 5).

A number of complaints were voiced at the meeting. France, in particular, was against it, because there is no provision to ban imports from third countries operating with lesser standards. Currently national legislation in France prevents imports from suppliers with no SRM controls.

Portugal also opposed the idea that it should be treated differently to the UK, in as much as it would have to remove vertebral column from cattle over six months, whereas the UK would only have to do it for over 30-month animals. &#42