Meat exports plea renewed
FRESH attempts are being made to strengthen the case for meat exports from some regions of the UK, which will be put to EU vets when they meet in September.
A representation for regional status is likely to be made for Scotland focusing on lamb, and the National Pig Association hopes it can persuade DEFRA to put forward a plan for limited pig exports from disease-free areas.
Officially, Scotland can apply for regional export status 90 days after its last case of foot-and-mouth, on Aug 28.
But if Scotland was granted regional export status, it would have to close its borders to any stock from south of the border.
This move has angered the National Beef Association, which described the move as "single-minded", adding that border closure would inevitably force some mainline Scottish abattoirs to shut and threaten the premium available for Scottish cattle.
Meanwhile, the NPA is hoping that DEFRA will support its plan for regional pig exports. James Black, NPA chairman, said: "We have put together a working paper that will give assurances and I hope this will persuade them."
Initial exports might be on a limited scale and confined to whole carcasses from pigs derived from, and slaughtered in, F&M "clean" areas throughout the UK, relieving the build-up of cull sows. *