Minutes of Feedstuffs Sub Committee Meeting: 31 March 2009

Last updated:
30 March 2010
Meeting held at Glasgow Scientific Services, Glasgow.

Committee Business

Welcome, minute-taking duties and apologies

Attendees

Kate Connelly (Chair) (SCOTSS)
Marzena Young (Perth and Kinross Council)
Robert Watson (South Lanarkshire Council)
Stephen Thomson (Midlothian Council)
Jacqui Angus (FSA Scotland)
Maureen McLarty (South Ayrshire Council)
Alison Bannister (East Renfrewshire Council)
George Begg (Angus Council)
Derek Taylor (Fife Council)

Apologies were received from Brian Wilson (Stirling and Clackmannanshire Council)

Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes were agreed subject to several amendments being made.

SFELC Workshops

The Chair circulated the most recent draft of the workshop programme. Maureen McLarty, who is leading the workshop on primary production, stated that preparations were now complete.

The Chair agreed to feed back on the workshop at the next sub group meeting.

The Chair reported that the next SFELC meeting was to be held on 4 April 2009 and agreed to feed back to the next sub group meeting.

Update from the Food Standards Agency

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.

Animal Feed Law Enforcement Liaison Group (AFLELG) Report

Marzena Young presented the report. The main topic of discussion at the AFLELG meeting had been the FVO visit, about which Jacqui Angus provided more detail.

Marzena Young updated the group on current incidents, particularly on the discovery of dioxins in Ireland. Additionally, GM feed was discussed. Currently there is a zero tolerance level for unauthorised types of GM. However, this was now more difficult to enforce, and so the situation may change in the future.

Marzena Young also stated that LACORS and Animal Health groups were working together on a Memorandum of Understanding.

Maureen McLarty gave an update on the Bows situation, and Marzena Young agreed that the matter was now closed.

LACORS report

There had been no meetings since the last sub group meeting, and there was nothing to report. The next meeting was scheduled for 19 May 2009.

Reports from Regional Quality Systems (QS) Groups

North: The Chair circulated a report and Marzena Young gave a verbal update on the report. The next meeting was scheduled for 29 April 2009.

West: Maureen McLarty said that the group had not met since the last sub group meeting and was scheduled to meet again in April 2009.

East: There had been a short meeting at which primary production and sampling were discussed. Stephen Thomson agreed to circulate the report as soon as it became available.

Annual returns

George Begg said there was some confusion about how to complete annual returns and asked Jacqui Angus about this.

The Chair suggested that officers filling out annual returns should first look at whether it is a primary production establishment and, if not, go back to see where it fits.

Jacqui Angus agreed to research whether there was any further guidance on the matter and agreed to circulate any she found to the group.
Action: Jacqui Angus

There was some further discussion on the matter. Jacqui Angus said that information on primary production inspections stored in the Scottish Primary Production Official Controls System (SPPOCS) would be merged into the Local Authority Enforcement Monitoring System (LAEMS) and could be used for primary production. Jacqui Angus also agreed to find out what 'forward look' meant and feed back to the group.
Action: Jacqui Angus

There was some further discussion on annual returns.

The Chair concluded that the FSA had agreed to give further guidance on how to complete annual returns.

George Begg asked if there was a timescale for the LAEMS report to be introduced for feedstuffs. Jacqui Angus replied that there wasn’t, but that they would most likely follow the previous timetable.

Annual Conference

Marxena Young reported that three speakers had been confirmed, Judith Nelson, a delegate from the Scottish Agricultural College and Ron Cheesman from the FSA.

She also confirmed that three workshops would be held. Some discussion followed on the content of the workshops. Options considered included: the public analyst, the Scottish Organic Produce Association, sampling, 'back to basics' training from the FSA on animal feed and sample taking. It was agreed that Marzena Young would consider these options and feed back to the group on her conclusions.

Training update/Consultations

There was no update on training.

There was no update on consultations other than what had previously been discussed as part of the FSA update.

Any other business

Maureen McLarty raised a query relating to VAT-free pet food. Some producers appeared to be stamping VAT-free labels on their products, as they are marketed for assistance dogs. Jacqui Angus agreed to take this up with HM Revenue and Customs. Maureen McLarty agreed to draft an enquiry on the matter which would be distributed to regional groups.
Action: Jacqui Angus/Maureen McLarty

Angela Bannister asked Jacqui Angus where letters to local authorities could be found on the FSA website. Jacqui Angus provided directions.

Date of next meeting

The next meeting would be held on 8 June 2009 in Perth.