Intervention Board fined 21m

06 May 1999

Intervention Board fined £21m

By Philip Clarke, Europe Editor

THE Intervention Board is being fined more than £21 million for failing to properly administer the over-30-month slaughter scheme (OTMS) in the early days of the BSE crisis.

The OTMS was introduced to ensure that older cattle more susceptible to the disease did not enter the food chain.

The European Commission, which makes a 70% contribution to the scheme, said the boards audit controls were inadequate and criticised delays in carcass destruction.

“The findings are particularly serious in view of the obligation for member states to put into place the strictest controls over measures that concern human and animal health,” said a commission statement.

Brussels is claiming back 10% of its funding for the first two months of the OTMS and 5% for the next 13 months.

The Intervention Board is disputing the findings and has already challenged the level of the penalties, said a board spokeswoman.

“We accept because of the speed at which the OTMS was set up there were some minor shortcomings, but from the outset our controls were stringent,” she said.

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