5 January 1996

Russian ban hope

NEGOTIATIONS between senior British and Russian government vets have been stepped up in a bid to overturn the ban on British beef.

The ban – because of BSE in British cattle – has been in force since the late 1980s. But it could be lifted after a successful trade exhibition in Moscow last November.

Top Russian vets are believed to have arranged a meeting with their MAFF colleagues later this spring to discuss lifting the ban.

Ken Jones, Meat and Livestock Commission exports spokesman, said the trade delegation by British Meat at World Food 95, which featured displays of British beef, pork and processed products, had been inundated with more than 80 inquiries.

Mr Jones said the MLC believed a breakthrough in allowing British beef to enter Russia could pave the way for exports to enter other east European countries. "At present, Britain is one of the cheapest suppliers of beef in Europe and would benefit from further export opportunities." &#42