Call to ban BST permanently
EUROPES farm ministers are being urged to introduce a permanent ban on the milk boosting hormone, BST, when they debate the issue at their council meeting on Dec 14.
A new report from the RSPCA says dairy cows injected with BST are at greater risk of mastitis, lameness and loss of body condition. The drug, which has been used in the US since 1994, also leads to infertility and injection site swelling.
But, as well as the welfare issues, the RSPCA is concerned that the increased incidence of mastitis would lead to additional use of antibiotics.
The report, which draws on the evidence of 26 different scientific investigations, is being sent to MPs, MEPs and EU officials.
The EU Commission has already proposed converting the existing moratorium, which expires at the end of the year, into a permanent ban, (News, Oct 29). Ministers are expected to endorse this.
Imports from countries already using BST will still be allowed, however, and the RSPCA is pressing for clear labelling. *