Taken from "Our Cats" magazine http://www.ourcats.co.uk/

In a letter to the Telegraph (unpublished at the time of going to press). Lord Whitty, Minister for Food, Farming and Waterways pointed out;

"Lord Phillips Report into BSE identified the key lesson; " At the heart of the BSE story lie questions of how to handle hazard - a known hazard to cattle and an unknown hazard to humans. The Government took measures to address both hazards. They were sensible measures, but they were not always timely or adequately implemented and enforced"

" We still have BSE in this country, even if it is declining rapidly. As I write this letter, more than 100 people have died as a result of the tragic horror of variant CJD. Because of the mistakes of the past, the same fate may await other families.

Like Lord Phillips the Government believes that Regulations in this area must be enforceable and fully effective in all respects.

" The TSE (England) Regulations came into force on 19th April 2002. They are impelled by consolidation and continuity not radical change.

Primarily, they bring together key domestic controls on BSE and scrapie which have grown up on an ad-hoc basis over several years; plainly, a tried and tested package of proportionate, precautionary measures, founded on expert scientific advice.

I am pleased that we have the opportunity to consolidate these vital human and animal health measures within a single legal text, so that requirements are fully transparent and easier to understand.

Developments

"Secondly, the regulations bring the domestic regime into line with recent developments at (European) Community level. Community measures on transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are now to be found in Council Regulation 999/2001 - adopted last summer - which provides a secure legal base for a tougher EU-wide approach to these diseases. The new EU controls very closely parallel those already in place in the UK....

(Warmwell note...but not THAT closely. Lord Whitty fails to mention that the EU controls do not legalise the slaughter of SUSCEPTIBLE animals but only those genuinely suspected of being infected with a TSE.)

"Your article runs the risk of stirring up anxiety where none is appropriate, deterring honest farmers from reporting diseased animals...."