Day 107 - 24 Mar 95 - Page 02
1 Friday, 24th March, 1995.
3 MR. RICHARD ANTHONY EDWARD NORTH, recalled.
5 MR. JUSTICE BELL: Before you carry on questioning Mr. Morris,
6 there are a couple of things I would like to ask Mr. North
7 arising out of yesterday. You were asked by Mr. Morris
8 yesterday what you knew about any estimated salmonella
9 burden. You said you did not know but you should imagine
10 it was fairly low, certainly less than 1 per cent, which
11 I remember commenting it probably was not any different do
12 what Mr. Bennett said. What did you mean by "beef" when
13 you were giving that figure? Did you mean the carcasses,
14 dehided, eviscerated but not boned, or what?
15 A. Incidence in live animals, my Lord.
17 Q. But the salmonella, as I understand it, is in the gut?
18 A. Yes, not entirely. In other words, it can be in the
19 bloodstream at low levels again without causing disease.
20 It can be in milk in the udder.
22 Q. I understand that, but what we are basically concerned with
23 is that part of the animal which may go on to be ingested
24 by humans?
25 A. Certainly the figure I referred to was in the live
26 animal, in other words, in the national herd. I believe
27 I also said it was likely to be very variable which is the
28 difficulty in generalisation.
30 Q. To be fair to you, you started off by saying you did not
32 A. Yes, quite.
34 Q. So I take all this with that reservation. So, can you give
35 me any view -- no doubt I will have to weigh your view
36 against any others which are expressed -- of salmonella in
37 carcasses or boned meat, is that going to vary enormously
38 and depend on the processes and the precautions taken and
39 everything else, or is that the only figure you -----
40 A. No, I can give you some guidance, my Lord. I have
41 cautioned in my professional capacity against using global
42 figures ---
44 Q. Yes.
45 A. -- because they are unrealistic.
47 Q. Because of the variation?
48 A. Because of the variation. For instance, say, you had
49 15 million animals and you said the infection rate was 1
50 per cent, for example; that 1 per cent could be confined
51 virtually to one geographic area which would mean that
52 outside that area, or cattle outside that area, would be
53 100 per cent free but your contamination rate within the
54 herd within that region could be very high, but then that
55 picture will vary month by month, season by season.
57 Q. I do not want to press you to a figure which is not
58 useful. If your answer was either in carcasses or deboned
59 meat, you think it is there and will occur from time to
60 time, but you cannot give me any useful, positive figure,