Fear of scrapie coming to the attention of consumers and triggering a boycott of lamb purchases is being quietly expressed in the Scottish industry. Meat safety policy architects have increasingly tended to include scrapie in the category of encephalopathies they seek to eradicate despite accepting that it is not a direct threat to human health. Nevertheless Scottish rural affairs minister Ross Finnie's announcement of a national plan to wipe out scrapie has caused unease, one processor fretting to The Grocer: "Of course he's right but why such a high profile strategy?" In reality the industry in northern England might have more to fear as vets dealing with the outbreak of foot and mouth disease have discovered scrapie is much more widespread in the region's flocks than previously recognised. {{M/E MEAT }}

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