Minutes of Feedstuffs Sub Committee Meeting: 8 June 2009

Last updated:
31 March 2010
Meeting held at the Ramada Hotel, Perth.

Committee Business

The Chair welcomed members to Perth and thanked the FSA for booking the room. The Chair asked that everyone introduce themselves. She went on to ask if any amendments should be made to the draft agenda. None were suggested.

Attendees

Kate Connelly (Chair) (SCOTSS)
Marzena Young (Perth and Kinross Council)
Jane White (Glasgow Scientific Services)
Stephen Thomson (Midlothian Council)
Jacqui Angus (FSAS)
Pauline Wilkinson (FSAS)
Maureen McLarty (South Ayrshire Council)
Alison Bannister (East Renfrewshire Council)
George Begg (Angus Council)
Brian Wilson (Stirling/ Clackmannanshire Council)
Caitlin Stott (SCOTSS)
Jackie Catterall (Animal Medicines Inspectorate)

Apologies were received from Derek Taylor (Fife) and Robert Watson (South Lanarkshire)

Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising

Several amendments had been made to the minutes of the previous meeting.

The issue of dog food intended for assistance dogs, and stamped 'VAT free', was raised. Maureen McLarty provided further clarification on the situation. The group agreed to refer the query to the Fair Trading Group.

Feedback from the 2009 Feedstuffs Conference

Marzena Young said that she had collated feedback from 56 completed forms received from the 76 delegates at the end of the conference. She circulated a written summary of her report and gave a short spoken summary. She had concluded that the feedback from the delegates was generally positive and ended by thanking Kate Connelly for chairing the conference and asked if there were any questions or suggestions from the group.

Brian Wilson suggested that the attendance of a representative from the European DG SANCO would be helpful at the next conference. A discussion followed on why no European representative had been able to attend in the past.

Brian Wilson added that the feedstuffs checklist handout from the first workshop had been extremely useful. Marzena Young accepted that the first workshop had been shortened, and was slightly rushed, but the group agreed that it had given everyone a good grounding in the subject.

The Chair suggested that a future selling point for the conference might be be that it provides people with practical aids.

Jackie Catterall said that Workshop 2 had been extremely useful and that all the delegates had derived some benefit from it.

Jacqui Angus commented that there had been a lot of information to take in and that a two-day event might be considered in future. She added that the practical sessions had been extremely useful.

Pauline Wilkinson suggested that feedback from the workshops could be reflected in a working document or training schedule for delegates in the future. She added that it had been a very good idea for the councillor hosting the conference to have a link to primary production.

The Chair suggested that a conference report should be produced and that there should be a session at the beginning of future conferences updating delegates on feedback from the previous one.

Brian Wilson asked Jacqui Angus what she thought could be the maximum number of interested potential delegates. A discussion followed on what the target audience of the conference should be. It was agreed that the criteria for selecting delegates should remain the same.

The Chair then asked the group for any ideas on the running of the following year's conference. Most agreed that the current conference format was successful, but that workshops could possibly be programmed on a rotational basis during the day, along the lines of the SFELC workshop sessions that had been held in April. It was agreed that presentations and workshops could be alternated to avoid just having presentations in the morning and workshops in the afternoon.

Marzena Young formally thanked Jacqui Angus for all her help on the day and for standing in for the UK office, who had had to give up their slot due to other work priorities.

It was suggested that an MP or MEP could be approached to speak, with the caveat that their diaries were always subject to last-minute alterations.

The Chair suggested that, next year, there could be a conference theme focusing on a single issue such as incident handling. A discussion followed on how this could be practically managed. It was suggested that the workshops could be interactive, with selected delegates being briefed to add new aspects to a scenario described at the start of the day; also that role play could be introduced to work through hypothetical situations. A vote was taken and it was agreed that it was a good idea, but that it should only cover one day and should not be too radical in approach. It was also agreed that the conference could adopt a format of formal lectures in the morning and an interactive workshop in the afternoon. It was suggested that external expertise could be drawn upon from within local authorities or externally, from conference organisers, to consider how this might be planned.

It was agreed that Marzena Young would send out letters of appreciation to the speakers at the 2009 conference.

Brian Wilson asked about dates and venues for the following year. It was suggested that the conference should perhaps be designed around particular speakers or themes. Jackie Catterall suggested that the group should wait until the FVO schedule had been released before deciding on dates.

The Chair concluded that plans for the next conference should be finalised at a future meeting of the group.

Feedback from the Scottish Food Enforcement Liaison Committee (SFELC) workshops

The Chair introduced this topic stating that, so far, feedback had been positive, but that much of it was very similar to the feedback from the conference.

Update from the Food Standards Agency

Jacqui Angus circulated her report. Additional points raised at the meeting were as follows.

National Animal Feed Port Panel
There was currently only one Scottish representative, but an additional one would be welcomed to ensure absences were covered. Marzena Young suggested that a representative from an authority with a prominent port would be desirable. The group discussed potential authorities with ports and Jacqui Angus agreed to contact Aberdeenshire Council in the first instance.
Action: Jacqui Angus

Marketing and use of animal feeds
The FSA was considering the production of guidance on the registration of horse keepers as feed business operators. Some discussion followed on the definition of horses in Regulation 183/2005.

Code of practice and guidance

  • Marzena Young asked about the consultation response which should have, but had not yet, been published. Jacqui Angus said that there had been several delays but that it should be published very soon.
  • Marzena Young asked whether briefing for ministers on the launch of the code of practice could be seen by people beforehand. Jacqui Angus said that this should be fine, although the briefing was likely to be very short. However, she would need to check.
    Action: Jacqui Angus
  • Marzena Young also asked why the emails to and from the Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland (SCOTSS) and the Society of Chief Officers of Environmental Health in Scotland (SCOEHS) had been issued to the PPEWG. Jacqui Angus said that this had been agreed as an action point from the meeting of 6 April.
  • Jacqui Angus asked if a minute of the meeting between SCOTSS and the FSA on the afternoon of 31 March had been produced. The Chair said that no minute was yet available.

Feed Hygiene and Enforcement (amendment) Regulations
The consultation had now ended and the results should be processed shortly.

Update from LACORS Feed Focus Group

Maureen McLarty updated the group, summarising her written report, which had already been circulated. She said that the last LACORS group meeting had been held on 19 May 2009. A query was raised by a representative from the Egg Marketing Inspectorate on visits. It was suggested that the inspectorate could carry out primary production visits.

A memorandum of understanding between LACORS and Animal Health had been signed. Marzena Young said that this only applied to England and Wales.

Jacqui Angus clarified that the farm initiative mentioned in Maureen McLarty’s report applied only to England and Wales.

The next LACORS meeting is to be held on 22 September 2009.

Reports from Regional Quality Systems (QS) Groups

West: Alison Bannister gave a brief update of the meeting which had taken place the previous week.
The group was currently carrying out some individual group projects.
There was some confusion surrounding risk factors, about what to record and who to send it to. Some discussion followed on this within the group. It was suggested that the FSA should provide further clarification.

East: no report

North: George Begg reported that there had been further QS group discussion on risk. Jacqui Angus asked what particular aspect had caused confusion. Marzena Young said that it was risk factorisation that had caused particular problems.

The regional group meeting had also discussed joint visits. Many issues were raised relating to waste of local authority resources as a result of this practice. The Chair said that this had been discussed earlier and it was decided not to consider the matter in any further detail.

George Begg agreed to circulate the minute of the meeting to the group once it had been finalised.

Update from Public Analysts

Jane White gave a brief verbal report. She stated that there had been issues raised about turnaround times and asked for feedback on this from the group. The Chair replied that she would try to find specific information connected with the samples in question in order to trace this complaint back.
Action: Kate Connelly

Brian Wilson asked whether local authorities were able to use the services of analysts in different areas. Jane White said that they were able to do this and agreed to send notifications to the relevant work areas.
Action: Jane White

Update from Animal Medicines Inspectorate (AMI)

Jackie Catterall gave a brief verbal report and said that she was now responsible for Scotland only.

Training report

Jacqui Angus said that there may be further training relating to the marketing of feed in the future.

Any other business

Brian Wilson spoke about a seaweed meal referral in his area which had been analysed for arsenic. He said that, as a result of his investigation, he had discovered that the safe limit for arsenic had been raised from 30 to 40 milligrams.

Jackie Catterall stated that the North of England (Yorkshire and Humber) had recently experienced a spate of cases where pigs had been fed feed containing illegal amounts of copper. She asked for officers to remain vigilant for similar occurrences in Scotland.

Marzena Young asked Jacqui Angus for more information on incidents at the time they occur, so that officers could be watchful for similar incidents in Scotland. Jacqui Angus said that the FSAS's policy is to do this whenever an incident occurs.

Date of next meeting

The next meeting is to be held on 4 August 2009.