Bone ban defence

15 May 1998

Bone ban defence

FARM minister, Jack Cunningham, says the beef-on-the-bone ban is not a permanent measure, and will be lifted as soon as he is given the medical all-clear.

Addressing a demonstration at the informal EU council meeting in Newcastle, he rebuffed claims that the ban was a farce.

"Twenty four people have died of new variant CJD, that is a very serious state of affairs," he said.

And he dismissed suggestions it had damaged the trade. "Only 3% of beef was sold on the bone. The idea that you have been hurt, or butchers have been damaged by the ban is a nonsense," he told the farmers.

"But it was not a decision I wanted to take," he added. "As soon as I can get the medical all clear, the ban will be lifted."

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