FSA in Wales
Last updated on 10 April 2006
Post-Chernobyl Monitoring and Controls: Wales
Following the Chernobyl accident in 1986, restrictions under the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985 were placed on the movement, sale and supply of sheep in areas of the United Kingdom where contamination levels in sheep meat could potentially cause a risk to public health.
In North Wales, of the 5,100 holdings and 2,000,000 sheep originally placed under restriction following the accident, 359 holdings and 180,000 sheep remain within the restricted areas.
Experimental Surveys (scoping surveys) are conducted on those selected sheep farms under restrictions following the Chernobyl accident to determine if whole flock De-Restriction Surveys, which could lead to the lifting of restrictions, are appropriate to undertake. This report presents the findings of the Experimental Surveys conducted in 2005.
The surveys were conducted at four farms in the northern part of the restricted areas at the beginning of July 2005. Forty lambs at each farm were live monitored and the estimation of the levels of radiocaesium contamination in their muscle was compared to the Working Action Level of 645 bq/kg, used to prevent sheep meat above the limit of 1,000 bq/kg entering the food chain.
The surveys identified lambs with estimated radiocaesium levels above the Working Action Level on three of the four farms. In addition, as there were no stock-proof boundaries between the four farms, no subsequent whole flock De-Restriction Surveys were conducted.
It is recommended that further farms be identified for possible de-restriction in 2006 and that 40 lamb Experimental Surveys, and whole flock De-Restriction Surveys, are conducted as appropriate.