§ Mr. Peter Mills
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether, in view of the many cases of the misappropriation of unfit knacker meat into sausages and hamburgers, he will introduce regulations requiring all knacker meat to be stained at the point of butchering; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Wiggin
It is an offence under the Food and Drugs Act 1955 to sell for human consumption meat which has been produced in a knacker's yard. Under the Meat (Sterilization) Regulations 1969, it is an offence, subject to certain specified exemptions, to remove unsterilized meat from a knacker's yard. Only the local authorities, who are responsible for enforcement of the relevant legislation, could provide details of the extent of any misuse of knacker meat in the manner suggested.
Strict enforcement and responsible action by manufacturers, such as we have witnessed, are clearly important. Officials are keeping in close touch with the various developments through contact with enforcement authorities. At this stage it is not possible to make an obective assessment of what, if anything, may be required by way of further legislation.