19 October 1999
Poole protestors to track trucks

POWERS of persuasion will be employed by West Country farmers protesting at the French ban on British beef.

Instead of forming picket lines, farmers gathering at Poole harbour, Dorset, tonight will watch French lorries disembark then follow them to their distribution depots, reports Radio 4s Farming Today.

There farmers in the official National Farmers Union will try to put over their message about their objections to French imports to distributors and wholesalers.

The worldwide ban on British beef which followed the BSE crisis was lifted in August.

But France has refused to allow imports as its food agency still has doubts about the safety of |British beef.

Primne Minister Tony Blair had a heated exchange on the subject with French counterpart Lionel Jospin at an EU summit in Finland last week.

Britain is threatening legal action against France unless the unilateral ban is lifted.