Slaughterhouse fined over BSE control breaches

A slaughterhouse in Cornwall must pay almost £9,000 in fines and legal costs after failing to remove specified risk material (SRM) from sheep carcasses.

On Tuesday 29 April, HR Jasper & Son Limited, Launceston, Cornwall, pleaded not guilty to six charges of breaching BSE control regulations at Truro Magistrates Court.

But the sheep carcasses, destined for the food chain, were found to contain some SRM and the company was prosecuted.

The material is the parts of cattle, sheep and goats most likely to carry BSE. It must be removed in the slaughterhouse or, in certain circumstances, the cutting plant. It must not enter the food chain.

Andrew Rhodes, chief operating officer at the Food Standards Agency, welcomed the successful conviction.

“The meat industry has worked hard over many years to restore confidence in the safety of UK meat. Unfortunately, some companies occasionally fail to meet the standards which underpin the strict and successful system of controls we have in place to tackle BSE.

“As the enforcer of those regulations, we will take action against any company that potentially puts consumers at risk,” he said.


Specified risk material in all member states  
 Cattle  All ages
   The tonsils, the intestines, from the duodenum to the rectum, and the mesentery
   Over 12 months
   Skull excluding the mandible but including the brains and eyes, and spinal cord
   Over 30 months
   Vertebral column, excluding the vertebrae of the tail the spinous and transverse processes of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar vertebrae, the median sacral crest and the wings of the sacrum, but including the dorsal root ganglia
 Sheep and goats  All ages
   The spleen and the ileum
   Over 12 months (or permanent incisor erupted)
   Skull including the brains and eyes, tonsils, spinal cord

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