12 October 1998
Customs blocks beef to Falklands

CUSTOMS and Excise has blocked a shipment of beef to a restaurant on the Falkland Islands because it breaches the European Unions export ban.

The £2400-worth of sirloin and rump steak met all the Governments health and hygiene controls on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

But the ban was imposed because the Falklands Islands is not regarded as part of the United Kingdom or as a dependency, unlike the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

The news came as farmers outrage grew about the Armys limited use of British beef, and complete lack of British lamb, at bases abroad.

Only 29% of the 2228t of beef bought by the Armed Forces over the past year was home-produced. The Ministry also admitted that it had bought no British lamb over the same period.

More than half of the 750t of lamb eaten by the forces came from New Zealand and the rest from Uruguay.

Nick Brown, the agriculture minister, is calling for a report.

Ben Gill, president of the National Farmers Union of England and Wales, said: “This is the dead hand of the Treasury at work. Whitehall departments must be made to see that their actions have consequences elsewhere.”