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Wednesday, 10 June 1970

Mr ANTHONY - There have been consultations between my Department and the Meat Industry Advisory Committee. As a result, a set of recommendations has been drawn up for the slaughtering and handling of meat and this has been conveyed to the industry. Last week the industry carried out an experiment at an abattoir using the improved processing methods. Consultations are now taking place with the American authorities to see whether the new procedure is acceptable to them. Generally speaking we are making every effort to meet requirements so that the ban may be lifted as soon as possible. While 1 am on my feet talking about the problems associated with the export of mutton I take the opportunity to notify the House or another very worrying issue that has cropped up this morning. I have been informed by the Canadian Minister for Agriculture that no further shipments of mutton from Australia will be permitted entry into Canada until inspection standards of carcasses infected with caseaus lymph adenitis have been brought up to the prescribed American standards. Mutton already on board ships will not be affected. The reasons given for the Canadian ban are similar to those given for the United States prohibition. In each case it has been made clear that when the Australian standards, dressing procedures and inspection methods have been corrected, imports of mutton will again be permitted. The combined ban by the two countries-

Mr Daly - I rise to order. I point out that the question was asked without notice but the Minister is obviously reading a prepared reply. As this is the third or fourth occasion this morning on which this has happened would you repeat to the Minister for Primary Industry the warning you gave earlier to the Minister for National Development?

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