24 May 1996

NFU launches legal challenge to ban

THE NFU has lodged formal proceedings in the European Court of Justice to seek an end to the current ban on British beef exports.

Solicitors acting in Luxembourg for the union lodged proceedings under article 173 of the Treaty of Rome, which looks at misuse of EC power, on Tuesday. The case will be assigned a hearing date within the next few weeks.

The union is also considering separate legal action, applying for interim measures to suspend the current ban while the European Court considers the case for annulment of the European Commissions original decision.

An official added that a claim for damages is also being prepared by the NFU on behalf of the UK meat industry, which will be lodged with the European Court of Justice at a later date. &#42