UK Heads of Sheep
and Goats Order 1996
to boost grain supplies
Cattle cull creates storage
farmers jostle minister in BSE protest
Farmers leaders back food
by angry farmers at dairy show
aims to revive role
Gerard and the Carnivore Club
UK Heads of Sheep and Goats Order
Legislation ... 3 September 1996
An Order preventing the heads of sheep and goats going into the
food chain will come into force on Sunday, 15 September 1996. The Heads
of Sheep and Goats Order 1996 will make it an offence to sell any part
of sheep or goat heads for human consumption. This is a precautionary measure
based on the advice of the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee
(SEAC) which was announced on 24th July 1996. Over ninety nine per cent
of heads are already destroyed and do not go into the food chain.
Notes for Editors
1. The Order will be made under the Animal Health Act 1981. It prohibits
the sale for human consumption of any part of a head of a sheep or goat,
and of food containing any part of such heads. It also prohibits the sale
of any part of such heads for use in the preparation of food for human
consumption, and the use of any part of such heads in the preparation of
food for human consumption.
2. The heads are required to be removed immediately after slaughter and
stained with the dye Patent Blue (E131, 1971 Colour Index No. 42051). Removed
heads must be consigned to approved premises and disposed of as if they
were specified bovine material by rendering and incineration.
Cattle cull creates storage problem
By David Brown, Agriculture Editor
Daily Telegraph ... Wednesday 2 October 1996
So many dead cows are piling up
under the Government's emergency measures to resolve the beef crisis that
ministers are having to hire convoys of mobile
freezer lorries to move them around the country.
Up to 500 freezer containers will be
needed to hold about 25,000 dead cattle at any one time until rendering
plants can be found to destroy them. Each articulated container holds about
The plan is to gather as many containers as possible in "secure
parking areas" and attach them to the mains to keep the
freezer units going, according to one senior Government official.
Trials involving up to 50 freezer containers have already started around
Shrewsbury, Shropshire, and Bridlington, East Yorks.
In addition, as the backlog of cattle more than 30 months old awaiting
slaughter mounts up on farms, the Government is close to signing a deal
to charter two freezer ships to hold 15,000 tons
of beef until this, too, can be incinerated.
These ships are expected to be used to hold carcasses from Northern Ireland.
So far, more than 560,000 cattle have been slaughtered
under the cull of cattle more than 30 months old scheme designed to restore
consumer confidence in beef by removing all older animals from the food
But 43,000 carcasses are stockpiled
awaiting destruction in rendering plants that have been working flat-out
in a vain attempt to meet demand.
Now storage space on land is running out, even though the Government is
spending hundreds of thousands of pounds converting grain stores in former
aircraft hangers into huge freezers.
Ministers thought they were faced with a backlog
of 170,000 animals awaiting slaughter on farms - but the
true figure is nearer 400,000. The limits of the rendering plants
and the shortage of temporary storage space for the dead cattle threaten
the Government's plans to wipe out the backlog by more than doubling
the current slaughter rate from about 25,000 to 55,000 cattle
Ô Nearly 85 per cent of dairy farmers want to go ahead as soon as possible
with the selective cattle cull halted by the Government a fortnight ago,
according to a survey published by the Royal Association of Dairy Farmers
Groupe Chez Gerard puts expansion
on the menu
By Andrew Clark
Daily Telegraph ... Tuesday 1 October 1996
Groupe Chez Gerard, the exclusive restaurant group, yesterday served
up a 23pc increase in full-year, pre-tax profits to £2.86m. The group
has nine London restaurants so far and is to open another City outlet in
Refurbishment at three restaurants, plus preparation for the new opening,
has pushed capital expenditure over £4m this year, which has been
funded without recourse to borrowing.
Chairman Neville Abraham said the group was eyeing provincial cities such
as Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds for further outlets, as well as expanding
further through London.
Mr Abraham and his co-founder Laurence Isaacson predicted turnover, currently
£16.4m, would reach £19m by next year, claiming: "We are
the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh of the restaurant business
- we've got nine successful shows running in the West End."
Faced with the mad
cow disease scare, the group adopted
an aggressive marketing strategy, pushing its "Carnivores' Club"
for steak and chips connoisseurs. Mr Abraham said the club had been a success
and no one had cancelled through fear of BSE.
The company says it caters for the Sinky and Dinky - single
and dual income customers with no kids yet. By avoiding the family market,
it claims to be less vulnerable to recession and falls in consumer spending.
A 0.9p final dividend on November 18, lifts the total from 2.4p to 2.8p.
The shares rose 6 to 242.5p.
'Tax meat-eaters' to boost grain
By Alison Maitland in London
Financial Times ... Tuesday October 1 1996
A tax on eating meat has been
proposed by a leading US environmentalist as a way of releasing urgently
needed grain supplies for direct human consumption.
The controversial proposal, in a new book by the Washington-based Worldwatch
Institute, is one of several radical ideas for resolving what is portrayed
as an imminent crisis in world food supplies
as the population burgeons.
The book, Tough Choices, is the institute's contribution to the United
Nations World Food Summit in Rome in November.
Mr Lester Brown, the author and president of the institute, says world
grain stocks may continue to be dangerously low for some time.
The only remaining big reserve is the 640m tonnes - or 36 per cent of the
world grain harvest - which is used as feed for livestock, poultry and
"If the world's affluent cut their consumption of grain-fed livestock
products by 10 per cent, they could free up 64m tonnes of grain for direct
human consumption, enough to cover world population growth for some 27
months," says Mr Brown.
A tax, he argues, would moderate grain price rises which can be life-threatening
for the world's poor.
"Such a tax, unpopular though it would be, might be accepted if it
became the price for economic and political stability in the world."
Mr Brown's views are based on a prediction that
the world is entering an era of food shortages, as environmental
problems such as water and land shortages and global warming put severe
constraints on agricultural output.
He is known as a pessimist in the world food debate; others argue that
food production will keep abreast of population growth in most regions
over the next 25 years.
Mr Brown clashes with the World Bank and the UN's Food and Agriculture
Organisation, contending that their predictions of continued growth in
grain output have proved too optimistic in the past five years.
Mr Nikos Alexandratos, head of global perspective studies at the FAO, responds
that production was disrupted by the break-up of the former Soviet Union,
volatile output in the US and set-aside policies in the European Union.
But these factors do not detract from FAO expectations of "modest"
output growth of 1.5 per cent a year to 2010, he said.
Among Mr Brown's other suggestions is a "stiff" tax on converting
land out of crops. "This would at least force those planning to use
highly productive cropland for industrial or residential construction to
weigh alternative sites seriously."
Chanting farmers jostle minister
in BSE protest
By David Brown, Agriculture Editor
Daily Telegraph ... Thursday 3 October 1996
Hundreds of angry farmers jostled Douglas
Hogg, the Minister of Agriculture, yesterday in a protest against
the handling of the beef crisis.
More than 200 beef producers chanting "Oggy,
oggy, oggy - out, out, out" vented their frustration about
delays in the Government's cattle cull and cuts in their compensation.
At one stage the banner-waving crowd at the South West Dairy Show in Shepton
Mallet, Somerset, threatened to overwhelm Mr Hogg and his escort of ministry
and show officials. Police threw a cordon around Mr Hogg as one of the
farmers fell during the melee.
Some producers accused the minister of "arrogance"
and called for his resignation for refusing to address the crowd after
meeting representatives of the National Farmers' Union and the Country
Landowners' Association for an update on the BSE crisis in the West Country.
Last week farmers accused the Government of "betrayal" for a
10 per cent cut in compensation for cattle killed under the cull. It means
that farmers expecting £500 a cow will now receive £50 less.
The cut comes as the backlog of cattle builds up on farms. The
backlog is about 450,000 - more than twice the Government estimated
So many cattle are awaiting destruction that the Government is running
out of cold stores to hold the carcases until they can be destroyed. Ministers
plan to hire fleets of refrigerated container-lorries and two freezer-ships
Anthony Gibson, a senior farming official at the meeting, said farmers
had put various points to Mr Hogg who had nothing to offer in reply.
"The cut in the compensation added insult to incompetence," he
said. "The scheme hasn't worked properly. There was fury in the air
at the show and I have not seen anything like it in 20 years with the NFU.
"Most of the farmers here would be lifelong Conservative voters and
not the sort of people you would expect to see marching up and down with
banners and jostling a minister of the Crown.
"He declined our suggestion that he should address the crowd of farmers
outside to defuse the situation. As a result there was some jostling and
unpleasant scenes when he emerged with his police escort."
Mr Gibson said the minister did not explain why he did not want to speak
to the farmers. "It made things worse and added to the frustration."
A ministry spokesman said last night: "Mr Hogg was not assaulted during
his visit during which he met farmers' representatives."
Farmers leaders back food agency
By David Brown, Agriculture Editor
Daily Telegraph ... Thursday 3 October 1996
Labour won the support of farmers' leaders yesterday for the establishment
of an independent agency to protect
consumer confidence in food.
After many years of defending the role of the Ministry of Agriculture,
which is responsible for food policy, the National Farmers' Union of England
and Wales said that the beef crisis had forced it to review its position.
Sir David Naish, president of the NFU, told a farmers' fringe meeting in
Blackpool: "The NFU is looking afresh at the concept of a food agency
- in particular how any such body could work effectively to balance the
interests of consumer and producer while being accountable, independent
and cost effective."
The BSE crisis had led to demands for an agency independent of MAFF and
the NFU was now willing to discuss this with "interested parties,"
Sir David added.
Dr Gavin Strang, the shadow minister of agriculture, welcomed the shift
in the NFU position. He said: "The sooner we reach a consensus to
enable us to reassure the public about food safety the better."
Hogg jostled by angry farmers at
by Michael Hornsby, Agriculture Correspondent
The Times ... October 03 1996
Douglas Hogg, the Agriculture Minister, was jostled
and jeered by 500 farmers at a dairy show yesterday in a demonstration
of anger at the Government's handling of "mad
Police and stewards had to surround Mr Hogg to prevent him from being manhandled
as placard-waving farmers surged foward chanting "Hoggy,
Hoggy, Hoggy, out, out, out". Several protesters were knocked
to the ground in the melée. One witness said: "I don't know
what they would have done if they had got hold of him."
Mr Hogg was guest of honour at the South West Dairy Show at the Royal Bath
and West Showground at Shepton Mallet, Somerset. Anger erupted when some
farmers could not get into a packed meeting of the minister, members of
the National Farmers' Union and the Country Landowners' Association.
Anthony Gibson, the NFU's regional director, said: "The mood was turning
nasty and I suggested to Mr Hogg that he should go out on the balcony of
the auditorium and speak to the farmers outside. But he refused and this
made matters worse."
After a loudspeaker appeal for calm, Mr Hogg, looking
shaken, was led to the main ring to present cattle prizes as
farmers crowded round him. He left 15 minutes later.
Feelings are running high after a decision last week by the European Union,
at the Government's request, to cut 10 per cent from the compensation paid
to farmers for culled cattle.
There is discontent among farmers over the high number of old cattle still
awaiting slaughter under the cull scheme set up after fears emerged that
the human disease CJD was linked to
* British fishermen are breaking EU conservation rules on a huge scale,
according to a report by a respected industry pressure group.
The study estimates that 40 per cent of the catch landed by Scottish trawlermen
is in breach of limits on the type, quantity and size of fish that can
legally be brought ashore. It says that illicit catches are landed in remote
parts. In major ports they are loaded on lorries at night.
The widespread cheating is alleged in a report by the Scottish Council
for Development and Industry, a body that embraces industrialists, trade
unionists and politicians that seeks to promote Scotland's prosperity.
It blames "absurd" EU regulations rather than the fishermen.
Consumer champion aims to revive
by Robin Young
The Times ... October 03 1996
The Consumers' Association is seeking to revitalise its role as
a campaigning political pressure group.
The organisation, which publishes the Which? group of magazines and has
almost 750,000 members, is doing the rounds of the party conferences touting
a manifesto called Making Markets Work, which catalogues the reforms the
association would like the next government to initiate.
Stephen Harris, director of communications, said yesterday: "We are
trying to get back to the role CA had in the 1970s. During the 1980s consumerism
became confused with consumption. Legitimate consumer concerns were pushed
aside while attention focused on how much money people had and how much
they were spending. We still see that with all the talk about the 'feel-good'
Mr Harris said the present Government clearly attached high value to the
interests of industry and other producers. "They
attach very low value to consumer interests. The deregulation
initiative is a much clearer indication where this Government is coming
from than the Citizen's Charter," he said. "If consumers had
even an equal footing with producers in the Government's consideration
there would not have been the terrible mess in
the Government's reactions to the BSE crisis," he claimed.
Mr Harris said the association had identified six key areas. Campaign teams
have been established in the fields of communications, health, including
food, personal finance, public utilities, redress, and transport. "From
now on we intend to punch our weight," Mr Harris said.
* A call for higher standards among professional bodies involved in drafting
wills was made by the Consumers' Association after a survey found that
more than a quarter were incorrect or confusing.
In a survey of 51 wills, reported in Which?, a panel of legal experts rated
15 as "poor", 24 were "average" and only 12 were "good".