2 April 1999

Beef scheme visit

EU officials are due in Britain in the next fortnight to check that all the controls for the date-based beef export scheme are in place.

If inspections go well then it is up to the EU Commission to set a date when exports can resume.

Junior farm minister Lord Donoughue said: "We have invited the commission to undertake its inspection in the week commencing April 12 and set the start date as quickly as possible."

He added that MAFF did not intend to approve abattoirs for exports until the commission inspectors had reported their findings.