Lochhead Raises Beef Traceability Issue With Westminster

UK - RICHARD Lochhead, the secretary for rural affairs with the Scottish Executive, has raised questions over the traceability of imported Brazilian beef and the potential threat posed to animal health, at a meeting in London with David Miliband, the Westminster Environment Secretary, following representations from the Scottish livestock industry.
calendar icon 20 June 2007
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Mr Lochhead said: "I am very concerned about this issue and outlined these to the Secretary of State. He assured me that the industry's decision to present evidence to the EU Commission was the correct course of action and that DEFRA officials were also raising the issue with Brussels. I, myself, intend to write to the commission to stress Scotland's position."

After the meeting, attended by ministers from all the devolved administrations, Mr Miliband said: "We had a very constructive dialogue on a full range of issues, including climate change, the marine environment and farming.

"Given our joint interests, it is important that we continue to work together on the issues that concern the whole of the UK, but also on those matters that are of special interest to the devolved administrations. Through close co-operation, we can work to meet the shared challenges we now face."

The unwritten agenda among the devolved administrations - Mr Lochhead will fly the Scottish flag for the SNP, while Michelle Gidernew will be on song for Northern Ireland and Jane Davidson will fight the Welsh cause - is to ensure that the forthcoming 2008 "health check" of the Common Agricultural Policy has a positive aspect on the UK's rural peripheral regions.

Decoupling of support from production was the ethos of the 2003 CAP reforms, based on the fact that far too much food was being produced in the EU and at a very considerable cost to taxpayers.

Source: Scotsman
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