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The Specified Risk Material Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997

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Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations control specified risk material, being material which may contain the agent containing bovine spongiform encephalopathy, in respect of food. The Regulations continue in force provisions in respect of food up to now contained in the Heads of Sheep and Goats (Treatment and Disposal) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996 and the Specified Bovine Material (Treatment and Disposal) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997. The Regulations implement in part—

(a)Commission Decision 94/474/EC (O.J. No. L194, 29.7.94, p. 96) concerning certain protection measures relating to bovine spongiform encephalopathy and repealing Decisions 89/469/EEC and 90/200/EEC; and

(b)the provisions relating to animal waste of Council Directive 90/667/EEC (O.J. No. L363, 27.12.90, p. 51) laying down the veterinary rules for the disposal of animal waste, for its placing on the market and for the prevention of pathogens in feeding stuffs of animal or fish origin and amending Directive 90/425/EEC as read with Commission Decision 92/562/EEC (O.J. No. L359, 9.12.92, p. 23) and Commission Decision 94/382/EC (O.J. No. L172, 7.7.94, p. 25), which was amended by Commission Decision 95/29/EC (O.J. No. L38, 18.2.95, p. 17).

The Regulations control the sale and use of specified risk material for human consumption (regulation 6) and the production of mechanically recovered meat (regulations 7 and 8). Provision is made for the initial treatment of specified risk material (regulations 9, 10 and 13) and the rendering of whole carcases (regulation 11). The Regulations prohibit the removal of the brain and eyes from a bovine animal (regulation 14) and prohibit the removal of the spinal cord from a ruminant animal (regulation 15).

Regulations 16 to 19 provide particular requirements in relation to sheep and goats. These are the marking of young animals with a young lamb stamp, requirements as to the transport of unmarked carcases of sheep and goats, the presence of official veterinary surgeons at slaughterhouses and the possession of unmarked carcases of sheep and goats. Regulation 20 prescribes the procedure for bringing in specified risk material from Great Britain, the Isle of Man or any of the Channel Islands.

Regulation 21 regulates the consignment of specified risk material once it has been removed from the carcase and regulations 22 to 24 require the approval of collection centres, incinerators, rendering plants and other premises that process specified bovine material. Regulations 25 to 31 contain provisions on veterinary and laboratory premises, directions, transport, storage, samples, enforcement, application of provisions of the Food Safety (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 for the purposes of the Regulations. Regulations 32 revokes the Heads of Sheep and Goats (Treatment and Disposal) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996 and the Specified Bovine Material (Treatment and Disposal) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997.

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