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BSE has never been found in sheep, but the Food Standards Agency is recommending that natural sheep sausage skins be banned for human consumption. The jobs of 2000 people involved in the natural sausage skin industry are being put at risk, while the unappetising alternative will be either to use sheep sausage skins from dubious and untraceable foreign origins or produce artificial skins. The following release from the Natural Sausage Casings Association demonstrates once again the sheer folly of the unsubstantiated official BSE theory which claims that humans can acquire nvCJD from eating meat. Please also see our updated report on 20 September 2002.

Newsletter - August 2002

On the 14th June the Food Standards Agency recommended to the European Commission that natural sheep sausage skins be banned for human consumption.

This proposal is based upon the "theoretical risk" of BSE being in sheep.

There is no new scientific evidence to prove that BSE is now or has ever been in the national sheep flock.

After 10 years of intense investigation BSE has never been found to occur in sheep under natural conditions.

Sheep have only ever been experimentally infected with BSE in laboratories by feeding with BSE infected cow brain.

The FSA proposal is by their own admission based upon numerous assumptions and approximate estimates with mathematical and computer modelling similar to that which contributed to the mass slaughter of millions of healthy animals during the FMD crisis.

According to the FSA, lamb on the bone and meat from animals over 12 months of age present as great if not a greater "theoretical risk" as sheep sausage skins but the banning of natural sheep sausage skins was considered to be "practical and proportionate" and with "no impact on (abattoir) line speed".

The FSA will allow the consumer to make their own decision as to whether or not to eat lamb on the bone or mutton but will not trust you to make your own decision regarding sheep sausage skins.

On the basis of numerous assumptions and computer modelling the FSA are prepared to sacrifice the jobs and businesses of the estimated 2000 people employed in the collection and processing of natural sheep sausage skins here in the UK but they do not consider that there is any case for compensation.

Implementation of this ban would mean that the traditional British sausage producer will either have to use sheep sausage skins from dubious/untraceable third world origins or be forced to produce artificial skins.

The Natural Sausage Casings Association have been lobbying intensely with Parliament both here and in Europe to ensure that we get a fair hearing and we would like to think that we are campaigning not only for the survival of the long established UK casings industry but also for traditional sausage makers, sheep farmers and abattoirs, all of whom be will affected by this ban.

We will endeavour to keep you informed of developments on this matter but in the meantime we have asked our Association membership to register their protest by writing to their local MP and we trust that we can count upon your support in our fight against what we consider to be an ill-conceived and discriminatory proposal.

Natural Sausage Casings Association
Fax: 020 8478 4641

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