25 November 1998
Beef exports face long, slow haul

BRITAINS beef industry faces an uphill battle before it will be able to open up for export again.

Industry experts believe there could be a minimum time lag of three months before any animals leave the country.

Conditions imposed by Brussels include a cull of about 4000 offspring of BSE-infected cows born after 1 August, 1996.

Another condition will only allow the export of deboned beef and beef products from livestock slaughtered between the age of six to 30 months.

Exporters will also have to ensure that the mother cow lived for at least six months after the birth of the animal to be exported.

This alone requires “verified positive official evidence” that the mother lived that long, which translates to time-consuming examination of several databases.

Abattoirs will also be required to observe specific conditions. These include the setting up of a dedicated plant to handle export animals.

The requirement is considered by industry experts to make export uneconomic.