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IAAS welcomes UK support for proposals to change TSE regulations on splitting over year sheep carcases

IAAS welcomes UK support for proposals to change TSE regulations on splitting over year sheep carcases

The Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland has welcomed a decision by DEFRA to vote in favour of proposed changes to EU TSE regulations. The changes would allow alternative methods of ageing sheep other than dentition.

The proposal is part of measures to amend Annex V to Regulation (EC) No 999/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the requirements for the removal of specified risk materials from small ruminants.

The IAAS has been in dialogue with the Scottish Government in a bid to influence the UK position, as the support of either the UK or Italy was enough to see the amendment passed under qualified majority voting. The EU vote on Friday was passed with two votes against (FR and IT) and no abstentions.

The amendment will result in a relaxation of current Specified Risk Material (SRM) controls in small ruminants aged over 12 months. This would mean that the spleen, ileum and tonsils would no longer be regarded as SRM and could therefore go into the food/feed chain. It also allows for provisions to estimate whether small ruminants (sheep or goats) are over 12 months of age by a method approved by the competent authority of the Member State of slaughter. This would enable UK Government to implement a cut-off date of 31st May as the accepted basis for establishing if the animal is aged over 12 months and therefore requires SRM removal.

Scott Donaldson, IAAS President said:

“It has always been the view of the IAAS and our membership that the UK should support the proposal and we have been in dialogue with Scottish Government officials to influence the UK’s position. We welcome DEFRA’s decision to support the proposal and subsequently to vote in favour of the amendment.

“Previously the UK was unable to support the draft on the advice of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP). However back in October, DEFRA Ministers asked the Commission to vote on a proposal to allow the option of estimating the ages of sheep and goats at slaughter using an alternative method to dentition on its own. There was a compromise on the tissue that would be designated as SRM, which DEFRA viewed as a step in the right direction allowing them to review the proposal again. The previous method of using dentition for ageing sheep was a costly and time consuming process in the marts and we are delighted this can now change”