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Home Industry News Defra ‘to lose control of lab inspections’

Defra ‘to lose control of lab inspections’

4th April 2008

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is to lose the responsibility for inspecting and regulating those laboratories which handle live animal viruses, it has been reported.

Following the Callaghen Review into last year’s foot-and-mouth outbreak – which recommended that a new regulatory framework should be created – Defra will hand over powers to the Health and Safety Executive, the Farmers Guardian reports.

This follows criticisms by the review that there are conflicts of interest within the current system as Defra is both a licensor and a major customer of animal health firms.

According to the farming resource, a phased introduction of the new framework will begin on April 28th, granting the HSE the power to regulate the sector.

Sir Bill Callaghan published his review of the existing regulations in December, at which time chairman of the review Dr Iain Anderson remarked that it had found “much to applaud” but also some deficiencies.

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