These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

USDA Bans Blood and Bone Meal

Mrs. Carol Skelton (SaskatoonóRosetownóBiggar, CPC): Mr. Speaker, recently the USDA banned the feeding of blood and blood meal to ruminants, yet this government is dragging its feet on doing the same thing. Canada needs to implement regulations in lockstep with our American counterparts. Why has the government not yet implemented regulations that would ban the feeding of blood and blood meal to ruminants?

Hon. Bob Speller (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member said, first and foremost what is important is that the Government of Canada, in co-ordination with both Mexico and the United States, bring in regulations that are North American-based.

I had the opportunity of meeting with my American and Mexican counterparts. We got an agreement to work toward that, and next week will be the first set of meetings where we will sit down and work toward co-ordinating a North American approach to BSE.

Mrs. Carol Skelton (SaskatoonóRosetownóBiggar, CPC): Mr. Speaker, last week the international panel came out with their findings and recommendations for the U.S. cattle industry. One of those recommendations is to ban the feeding of animal protein to ruminants.

I would like to ask the agriculture minister this. How have the USDA and Secretary Veneman responded to this proposal about blood products?

Hon. Bob Speller (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member said, the international peer review panel reported in the United States last week, and it had reported to us. It has not tell us the same things as it has told the Americans because there are different situations depending upon the country.

As I told the hon. member, first and foremost what is important is that Canada and the United States co-ordinate these measures. That is why next week officials will be sitting down with our American counterparts to do exactly that.