19 June 1998
EU vets delay lifting
British beef export ban

EUROPEAN UNION (EU) veterinary experts last night delayed a vote on lifting the worldwide ban on exports of British beef.

The standing veterinary committee said it needed more time to deliberate on the European Commissions recommendation to resume exports from cattle born after 1 August, 1996.

The vets will meet again next Tuesday and Wednesday. The Financial Times says it is unclear whether a vote will be taken then either.

The vets have the authority to lift the ban, but are likely to hand the controversial matter over to the council of EU farm ministers for a final decision. They may consider lifting the ban when they meet next month.

The proposals stipulate that the beef must be guaranteed to be BSE-free, deboned, come from animals aged 6-30 months and have been killed in approved slaughterhouses and come from herds.