Mr. John D. Taylor
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has any evidence of the use of clenbuterol in cattle; what precautions have been taken to detect the importation of clenbuterol from Community countries; what new controls have been introduced this year to control the importation from the Republic of Ireland of beef strengthened by clenbuterol; and if he will make a statement on the existence and use of clenbuterol in the beef industry.
§ Mr. Maclean
Clenbuterol is the active ingredient in three veterinary medicinal products licensed under the Medicines Act for use, only on prescription, to treat respiratory disease in calves and horses and as an aid to cattle at the time of calving. At present, there is no evidence of any existence or use of illegal clenbuterol in the beef industry in Great Britain.
Last year, around 300 liver samples were taken from slaughterhouses in Great Britain and tested for clenbuterol. No positives were detected. Surveillance in 1991 is being stepped up, both in terms of the number of animals tested, and the age range of cattle covered. Within the Ministry's imported meat monitoring programme, which includes checks on meat from EC countries such as the Republic of Ireland, 114 liver samples have been tested and no positives found.