UK HEALTH ministers are believed to be on the verge of recommending an end to the over-30-month scheme.

This in turn could lead to the winding down of date-based export scheme restrictions on beef exports.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said this week that no decision had yet been made.

There was no date set for an announcement, “but something is expected before the end of the year,” she added.

The National Beef Association says the move is essential to raise beef self-sufficiency levels from 62% to nearer 80%, to raise the value of cull cows to about 140p/kg and to trigger a return to normal exporting.

Ending OTMS would also save the Treasury about 360m a year.