Shipments of British calves into Holland are unlikely to resume this year because of bovine tuberculosis.
The voluntary import ban, in place since bovine TB was discovered in some calves imported from the UK earlier this year, will remain in place for the foreseeable future, said the organisation that represents Dutch calf traders.
“The identification and registration system in England is simply not up to scratch,” chairman Jos Jongerius of the Stichting Kwaliteitsgarantie Vleeskalversector told Farmers Weekly’s sister paper Agrarisch Dagblad.
“Importers stick to the import ban very well – not only our members but also other importers who do not belong to our organisation. We have another meeting to discuss the matter in two weeks time but I do not think the import ban will be withdrawn.”
Dutch agriculture minister Gerda Verburg told parliament in The Hague that in Holland some 121 infected calves – including the 12 UK animals exported from Britain with the disease – had been culled. UK imports have been replaced by animals from Belgium, France, Germany and Spain.
Animals were slaughtered from six farms that had received infected calves from Britain, as well as from four so-called contact farms. Humans who had been in contact with infected animals had tested negative for TB, said Ms Verburg
The Dutch authorities plan further TB tests in two months time.