'No Need to Take Sheep Spinal Cord' MP: RESEARCH SHOWS HEALTH RULE NEEDLESS
Byline: HYWEL TREWYN
AN MP has called for the practice of removing the spinal cord from sheep carcasses at slaughterhouses to be stopped - because it is unnecessary.
Brecon and Radnorshire Lib-Dem MP Roger Williams was recently re-elected vice-chair of the Beef and Lamb All Party Parliamentary Group.
During a discussion on its work next year, Mr Williams suggested a topic the National Farmers Union in Brecon and Radnorshire had raised with him.
Mr Williams said: "At the moment the carcasses of sheep over one year old have to be split down the spine in order to remove the spinal cord.
"The intention of this was to remove material that may contain the prion which causes new variant CJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease) vCJD is the organism that causes the so-called "mad cow disease" and new variant CJD in human beings.
Mr Williams said: "However, science has now shown that sheep, as a species, do not harbour this infective agent. Therefore this procedure is unnecessary and only adds cost to the production of meat."
He said: "The All Party Group will be pressing the Government for a relaxation of this regulation. While protecting human health is always a priority, unnecessary measures only add to the cost of food. …