Political pressure on retailers to avoid handling continental beef is commonly claimed to be justifiable because other EU member states cannot match UK meat safety and traceability standards. This was apparently demonstrated by October's scandal of cattle from a BSE-infected herd being slaughtered for the market in France. However, MAFF's BSE Enforcement Bulletin reports a surprisingly similar incident occurring in Scotland last month. A beast was slaughtered on January 8 and its carcase sent to a cutting plant for onward sale into the meat market. This was despite its mother having been identified as a BSE suspect more than a month earlier. The Food Standards Agency tried to prevent any of the product reaching the public, but admitted it could not identify the carcase in the cutting plant ­ and believed the kidneys may have reached the human food chain. {{M/E MEAT }}

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