Grain concern over cull lorries
THE Food Standards Agency is calling for action over continued concern that hauliers involved in the foot-and-mouth cull may be banned from transporting grain, writes Emma Penny.
A code of practice, drawn up by the UK Agricultural Supply Trade Association, to ensure food safety means equipment used in the cull cannot be used to transport grain. With harvest only two weeks away in southern England, UKASTA company secretary Jeremy Smith told Motor Transport magazine that there was an urgent need to know which hauliers were used.
"We do not know how many lorries are involved, but our members, who account for 80-90% of the UK grain and feed market, are genuinely worried about this. We are still pressing hard for information, but are now beginning to wonder whether it will happen."
The lack of information has prompted the Food Standards Agency to write to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Agency officials have urged civil servants to "put a full auditable system in place quickly in order to assure the food and feed industry and the public at large, that vehicles used in the food chain were not used for F&M purposes".
A DEFRA spokesman said the matter was being examined. "We have private contracts with firms and we cant just hand out lists of these things. It is commercially confidential." *