Under a proposed new law, UK inspectors would have the right to enter any manufacturing premises to perform tests and take samples, to check for the presence of animal borne diseases.
The Zoonoses (Monitoring) Regulations 2006 regulations provide authorised inspectors with powers of entry, at all reasonable hours, to any premises where any animal or animal feedingstuff is, or has been, present, in order to monitor for zoonoses and antimicrobial resistance to zoonotic agents and other agents that pose a threat to public health.
The law as drafted in intended to meet the requirement of the European Commision Directive 2003/99/EC. Other national governments are in the process of passing similar leglislation to comply with the EU directive.
The regulations have been drafted to aid the investment that Defra has devoted to the protection of human health through enhanced monitoring and surveillance. The law is intended to provide maximum protection to both animal and human health from any zoonoses or zoonotic agent by facilitating the assessment of risks from new epidemiological situations, allowing the greatest speed of response to emerging zoonotic agents, and minimising the amount of legislation that could be required.
The powers granted to inspectors under the monitoring programme would impose only minor costs on meat processing plants and on primary meat producers, Defra said.
For more information, see Defra’s consultation package on the proposed new zoonoses law.