Brazilian beef to be suspended by EU

Imports of Brazilian beef have effectively been suspended after the implementation of new rules imposed by Brussels.

These rules limit exports to those farms that can meet tougher new controls on animal movements, including a requirement for the animal to have been resident on a listed holding for at least 40 days before slaughter.

The new rules were agreed by EU vets just before Christmas, after a number of unsatisfactory inspection visits by the EU’s Food and Veterinary Office to Brazil, and took effect on Thursday (31 January).

It is understood that earlier this week the Brazilians submitted a list of over 2000 farms which they said met the EU’s criteria, but this was rejected by the commission, which had only expected 200-300. Without any farms yet approved on the list, imports are effectively suspended.

William Taylor of the lobbying organisation Fairness for Farmers in Europe said justice had been done. “The ban all stemmed from the campaign by Farmers For Action and the main farming unions, which began with a protest outside a Tesco store in 2005. It’s been a big effort by all of us.”

But a spokesman for the NFU in Brussels said the ban would only be temporary, and the Brazilians could be expected to offer a revised list of farms in a matter of days. “Also, the ban does not apply to beef in transit or already slaughtered, so we can expect to see product continuing to arrive, though in reduced amounts.”

The FVO will be making another inspection visit in February to assess the situation.