The Guardia Civil Nature Protection Service, SEPORONA, has carried out 75 mad cow inspections in the Balearics over the past two months. Seporona agents have been targetting abattoirs, farms and dried feed producers as part of the over all drive against the spread of mad cow. A team of 25 special agents are carrying out the inspections which were launched last December with the main areas of concern being producers of banned dried food stuffs, the correct handling of dangerous cattle parts, and the depositing of carcasses. It was the Guardia Civil inspection team which uncovered the suspect case in Minorca, the results of the tests which are still being eagerly awaited. Agents have also seized over 4'000 kilos of animal-based dried feed. The Guardia Civil operations in the Balearics form part of the 6'298 inspections which have been carried out across the country since the mad cow crisis broke. The Balearic Minister for Health, Aina Salom, insisted yesterday that the Balearic population and consumers “can rest easy” because beef on sale in the Balearics is safe. She revealed yesterday that her department is currently working on the introduction of all the recommended European Union quality control measures - but she said that in view of the fact that tests on meat have never been tougher, “safety is higher than ever.” She has also been in touch with the two hospitals which administered the mad cow-infected blood-based pharmaceutical in 1997.

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