Last updated on 18 March 2010

Minutes of Feedstuffs Sub Committee Meeting: 4 December 2007

Meeting held at WRVS Office, The Old Police Station, Viewfield Place, Stirling FK8 1NH.

Committee Business

Welcome, minute-taking and apologies

Attendees

Alison Bannister (East Renfrew)
Brian Wilson (SFELC, Stirling)
Robert Watson (South Lanarkshire)
Marzena Young (Perth and Kinross)
Stuart Joyce (Public Analysts, Glasgow)
Alan Hamilton (Fife)
Jackie Catterall (Animal Medicines Inspectorate)
Kate Connelly (Argyll and Bute, SCOTSS)
Wilma Urquhart (Aberdeenshire)
Maureen McLarty (South Ayrshire, LACORS)
George Begg (Angus)
Steven Thomson (Mid Lothian)

Apologies were received from Jacqui Angus (FSA), Gary Walker (Glasgow Scientific Services, Association of Public Analysts Scotland) and Mungo Howat (South Lanarkshire, Animal Health).

Victoria Jordan of R-Biopharm gave a presentation on test kits for the detection of Doxynivalenol (DON) for use in the field. The company is marketing these kits to enforcement authorities and farmers.

Minutes of previous meeting

Update from FSA, National Guidance for Good Practice on Feed Hygiene Regulations: the guidance referred to is not available yet.

Reports from Regional Quality Systems Groups, North, second paragraph: sentence beginning ‘No farm visits...’ to be deleted.

All matters arising from previous minutes were dealt with in the agenda.

Update from the Food Standards Agency

Advance reports
Jacqui Angus was not present but had sent out to members written reports dated 4 December 2007 and 26 September 2007 for discussion.

Mycotoxins
Ayrshire and Stirling are taking part in a mycotoxin survey. Brian Wilson expressed concerns over the accuracy of certain test methods.

Feedstuffs Code of Practice consultation
Maureen McLarty referred to the consultation on the Feedstuffs Code of Practice. She understood that only two councils had responded. However, some delegates had responded to the Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland (SCOTSS) while others had responded to the FSA directly. The confusion was attributed to the short two-week timescale for response.

Qualifications
Concern was expressed regarding the lack of training available for officers to gain qualifications.

Food Surveillance System (FSS)
Wilma Urquhart and Maureen McCarty said that Aberdeenshire and Ayrshire had been using FSS and were experiencing difficulties with the system. George Begg said that Angus was having similar problems. However, the local authority had only just started using it and hoped that it was just experiencing teething problems. Training in the use of the FSS was an issue for some authorities. Training updates were available in July each year, though this was not convenient for all officers. Kate Connolly suggested that the costs of training for using the system should be passed on to the FSA.

Funding
Wilma Urquhart asked if funding would be increased. The consensus was that there might be some extra money but nobody could confirm this.

Regulation (EC) No. 183/2005
The FSA held two seminars on the implementation of Regulation EC 183/2005 on 1 January 2008. Marzena Young suggested that two more for Aberdeen and Inverness may take place in the summer. She reported that the one in Perth had been reasonably well attended. Maureen McLarty said that the one held in South Ayrshire had not.

Feed (Specified Undesirable Substances) (Scotland) Regulations 2007
Wilma Urquhart asked if Trading Standards was to be the enforcement body for the Feed (Specified Undesirable Substances) (Scotland) Regulations 2007. Marzena Young said that it would be.

Update from Public Analysts

Stewart Joyce had received no response from other public analysts to a request for issues to be raised at this meeting.

He expressed concerns over the accuracy of the method for testing for vitamins and said that a decent EU method needs to be produced. Kate Connelly suggested testing for vitamin A is possibly best avoided.

The Dundee Public Analyst had moved to a new purpose-built laboratory.

Update from Animal Medicines Inspectorate (AMI)

Jackie Catterall reported that a memorandum of understanding was to be signed and should appear on the LACORS website. There was little change to previous editions.

Their offer to do joint visits still stands, mainly to feed mills for those authorities that have them.

A handout that AMI had recently produced, 'Small Animal Exemption Scheme', was passed around. Links to the Small Animal Register and to the Guidance on Small Animal Exemptions would be emailed.

Update from LACORS Feed Focus Group

Maureen McLarty referred to two reports that had recently been sent to members. A meeting on ports is due in London in the new year.

Leaflets for ammonium nitrate importers were available on the DEFRA website.

A list of farmers who are Red Tractor members is available through the FSA. An email from Jacqui Angus has recently been sent to local authorities.

There was a group discussion on the use of a feed hygiene risk assessment form produced by a firm called Alistair Bannister Agri Ltd. This may be useful for enforcement/inspection purposes. Maureen McLarty would email it to group members.

The next LACORS group meeting was scheduled for 8 January 2008.

Reports from Regional Quality Systems Groups.

North: Marzena Young had nothing to report.

East: Brian Wilson circulated a report. Their next meeting was to be held on 5 December.

West: Alison Bannister reported that a meeting was held on 1 October. There were no major issues to report apart from fresh pet feeds being sold by butchers. At the moment it is a matter for local resolution by authorities in the West of Scotland. Their next meeting was to be held on 5 February 2008.

Animal Feedstuffs Conference

There was nothing to report. Jackie Catterall would take over from Wilma Urquhart as a member of the working group.

Animal Health Update

There was no report.

Liaison with other groups

Brian Wilson referred the committee to the minutes of a SFELC meeting he had attended on 5 October.

A Food Enforcement Liaison Committee workshop had been held at the Hilton Hotel, Dundee, on 7 February 2008. Brian Wilson, Kate Connelly, Maureen McLarty, Marzena Young, Jackie Catterall and George Begg were to attend.

Kate Connelly had received a request from Wigan Trading Standards for recent minutes of meetings of this sub-committee. Wigan wanted to start active groups in areas of England. The committee agreed to send minutes and to develop links with any similar committees set up elsewhere.

Any other business

Wilma Urquhart asked whether other authorities were contacting people who are on the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department (SEERAD) list but who have no land recorded in the January 2008 registrations. The FSA had advised they don’t need to. The committee suggested that they should be included in any mail shots being carried out and that any information gathered would help with the updating of databases.

George Begg asked those who were using the FSS whether they recorded the ingredients of an on-farm mixed final feed as samples in their own right, as the ingredients are not often analysed. The consensus was that they did not and that the analyst should be asked to log any additional material tested.

Alison Bannister had been doing joint visits with EHOs on feed and food.

Brian Wilson wished to ask the FSA whether screening samples taken using the R-Biopharm kit would count towards the total number of samples taken during the course of a year. The consensus was that they should do. Jacqui Angus would be asked to respond. Brian circulated a copy of the 2007 update of Food Law and would raise the matter of enforcement with the FSA.
Action: Brian Wilson/Jacqui Angus

The issue of FSA audits and the time allocated for them was raised along with Trading Standards feed service audits and their frequency.

Robert Watson has been linking the SEERAD list of farms with the FLARE database but this was proving to be very time consuming. He was anticipating sending letters out by the end of the year after their database had been brought up to date.

Alan Hamilton is now Feeds Officer in Fife and has replaced Geoff Bates.

Date of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on 11 March 2008 in Perth.