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As the problem of legal basis (which posed a real impediment to the rapid adoption of the Regulation) was resolved through informal contacts between the "triologue" (Commission, Parliament, Council) following the European Parliament's first reading, the new beef labelling system may be that outlined in the Council's common position. The Parliament and Commission have accepted the Council proposal to consider a double legal basis (Article 37 on the Common Agricultural Policy and Article 152 on the protection of human health).Labelling from 1 September 2000.From 1 September 2000, labelling may contain the following four indications:* a reference number or reference code ensuring the link between the meat and the animal or animals. This number may be the identification number of the individual cow from which the beef was derived or the identification number relating to a herd of cattle.* The approval number of the slaughterhouse at which the cow or group of cattle was slaughtered and the Member State or third country in which the slaughterhouse is established.* The approval number of the cutting plant which cut up the carcass or group of carcasses and the Member State or third country in which the cutting hall is established.* The category of animal or animals from which the beef was derived.At its 26 May meeting, the EU's Management Committee for Beef which, in accordance with the new draft Regulation, is responsible for drafting the practical (and relatively complex) details of the labelling system, indicated that six animal categories would be included for labelling: calves, bullocks, bulls, steers, cows and heifers.--The compulsory labelling system aims to ensure a link between, on the onone hand, the identification of the carcass, quarter or pieces of meat and, on the other, the individual animal or, where this is sufficient to enable the accuracy of the information on the label to be checked, the group of animals concerned. "Labelling" means the attachment of a label to an individual piece or pieces of meat or to their packaging material, or in the case of non-pre-wrapped products, the supply of appropriate information in written and visible form to the consumer at point of sale. The system for the identification and registration of bovine animals shall comprise the following elements: eartags to...

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