04 November 1998
Euro-vets vote to end beef export ban

By FWi staff

EUROPEAN Union veterinary experts have voted by eight votes to five for the lifting of the 30-month-old export ban on British beef.

Only two members of the EU Standing Veterinary Committee abstained from the vote, which was held in Brussels this morning (Wednesday).

Under complicated European voting rules, the majority decision is not enough for the ban to be lifted immediately.

But it now seems increasingly likely that European Farm Ministers will approve the go-ahead for British beef exports when they meet in Brussels later this month.

If todays voting pattern is repeated at the European Farm Council meeting on 23-24 November, it will enable meat to be exported under the EU Commissions “born-after” scheme.

The scheme will allow the export of beef from cattle born-after 1 August, 1996, when the UK banned feed made from meat and bonemeal.

Meat and bonemeal feed is widely blamed for causing BSE.

The EU banned British beef exports after the UK Government admitted a probable link between BSE-infected beef and a new variant of the human brain disease CJD.