23 July 1997
Britain senses victory on BSE controls
Britain appears to have successfully forced continental states to apply strict anti-BSE methods in its slaughter houses.
Farm ministers met in Brussels last night debating a European Commission proposal which would see the EU adopt laws forcing abattoirs to remove specified risk materials in slaughtered cattle and sheep such as brains and the spinal cord. Such regulations already exist in the UK.
The Agriculture minister, Jack Cunningham, has told other member states that if they dont agree to the changes Britain will impose an import ban on EU meat entering the UK. Germany and seven other European members are opposed to the EC and British initiative.
Brussels officials have warned Cunningham that Britain would be breaching European Union rules if it imposed a unilateral ban. It could also face proceedings in the Court of Justice.