EU - Proposals have been put forward in Europe to increase the notification period before slaughter that veterinary medicines have been used on livestock.
At present, farmers have to provide food chain information on veterinary medicine us e for 28 days up to slaughter.
However, the European Commission is proposing that the relevant period regarding the used of veterinary medicines should be increased to 60 days.
The move comes in an amendment to the regulations governing food chain information that has to be declared by farmers and food business operators.
Speaking at the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board seminar on Information Flow in the Meat Chain, Meat Hygiene Policy Team Leader at the Food Standards Agency, James Ridsdale said that the European Commission is look again at the minimum requirement for food chain information for pigs in a bid to improve protection of human and animal health.
Mr Ridsdale said that the commission is looking to harmonise the information that is gathered and make it more useful for processors and meat inspectors and official veterinarians.
He said that the negotiations that have been continuing for more than a year had raised concerns at the Food Standards Agency over enhanced veterinary medicinal requirements.
He said that while most of the proposals for the European Commission are in line with the UK’s current food chain information requirements, the FSA is lobbying other European countries over the notification period for veterinary medicines.
The concerns arise because some countries have longer notification periods. In Finland the period is 90 days and the European Commission has now proposed that the period should be between the UK’s current notification period and the top level, setting the level at 60 days.
Mr Ridsdale said that the FSA has proposed that the period should be just 30 days.
He added that the commission’s amendments to the food chain information requirements was expected to have been put to a vote in January this year, but the vote has not taken place and now that there is a new commission in place no progress has been made on the amendments.
He said that the FSA has also called on the European agricultural organisation Copa Cogeca to intervene to lobby for an easing of the terms of the veterinary medicines amendment.
He added that the commission is still expected to tighten up the current declarations on test results in processing plants and on the safety of the safety of meat and that while the current proposals are specifically for pig processors and producers, the new amendments are likely to be rolled out to other species.