Jacqui Angus gave an update and had circulated a hard copy of her report previously.
The group agreed that the FSA needed to clarify several provisions of the Code of Practice (CoP) and specifically how it related to the Feed Code.
Marzena Young highlighted two specific concerns; firstly the haphazard way the CoP had been amended and implemented in Scotland, and secondly the issue of inconsistency in the enforcement of primary production between Scottish and English authorities.
Jacqui Angus said that all required changes are made at once when either CoP is amended, and that consultation then takes place.
Marzena Young and George Begg voiced concerns that the CoP had been improperly applied in law.
Jacqui Angus stated that a pilot project was ongoing in Scotland, and that FSA Scotland were also going to be looking at feed assurance schemes in the future.
Jacqui Angus went on to talk about horses. There was no definition for 'food producing animal' in 183/2005. The proposed EC Regulation on the Marketing and Use of Feeds states that its provisions, including definitions, are without prejudice to other Community provisions applicable in the field of nutrition. When the Marketing and Use of Feeds Regulation comes into force, which was likely to be September 2010, the feeding of horses may come within the scope of the requirements of Regulation 183/2005. FSA is currently drafting guidance on this matter.
Additionally, Jacqui Angus updated the group on a legal query received from Marzena Young on traceability of feedstuffs. She stated that there was a legal obligation on suppliers to try to get the name and address of the consumer. However, there was no obligation on consumers to provide such information. She went on to say that there was a difference in implementation between food and feedstuffs here, and that more clarification was needed.
Marzena Young and George Begg raised the issue of individuals, who were not known to Trading Standards Officers, carrying out inspections on farms. When the individuals had been questioned, they had said that they were from the FSA Scotland. Jacqui Angus had investigated this and reported back. Marzena Young added that there was some confusion amongst farmers about the distinction between Animal Health and Trading Standards inspections. There was a need to define the two types, perhaps through Scotland’s Environment and Rural Services (SEARS).
Jacqui Angus stated that SEARS was currently discussing developing a diary system for visits to ensure that there were no clashes between different inspections.
Alison Bannister said that SEARS should deal with this, and asked whether local authorities had representation on SEARS. Jacqui Angus said that this was currently being investigated.