Beef exports unlikely before summer

03 March 1999

Beef exports unlikely before summer

THE INDEPENDENT today tells its readers what many farmers have known for months

The first shipments of beef since the export ban was lifted are unlikely to leave British shores until June at least, the newspaper says.

This is because of government delays in meeting the conditions for beef exports laid down by the European Commission when it lifted the global ban last year.

Under the deal, the government has to invite European Union inspectors that all the conditions are in place.

It also had to put in place a tracking system for cattle which proves they were born after August 1996, the date by which contaminated foodstuffs were banned.

An inspection team may be invited during the week of 29 March or 5 April, the paper says, describing the first step in a process expected to take two months.

A report will then be compiled for the Commission, followed by consideration by the Standing Veterinary Committee.

The Commission said yesterday the slippage in the timetable was due to the British government.

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