17 July 2000
Export abattoir red tape cut

By Isabel Davies

THE government has relaxed one of the rules which farmers claimed was unnecessarily restricting the amount of beef exported from Britain.

Export-approved slaughterhouses may now supply beef on the bone to the domestic market, the Ministry of Agriculture said on Monday (17 July).

Until now, cutting plants exporting beef were restricted to processing boneless beef and banned from supplying beef on the bone to the UK market.

The restriction is believed to have discouraged a number of abattoirs from entering the scheme, hampering efforts to rebuild British beef exports.

Only two British meat firms are currently licensed to export beef. They are Scottish-based Scotbeef and the English company St Merryn Meat.

The government believes relaxing the rules will encourage more plants to sign up for exports. The move has been approved by the European Commission.

A spokesman for the Meat and Livestock Commission said relaxing the regulations would make it more viable for other plants to become approved.

“This does remove one rather large obstacle. Hopefully it will encourage more to apply,” he added.