Computer tracking raises hopesof end to beef ban

14 August 1998

Computer tracking raises hopes
of end to beef ban

THE introduction of a £35 million computerised cattle tracking system is expected to lead to the lifting of the worldwide ban on British beef by the end of the year, the Government said.

Jeff Rooker, junior agriculture minister, said the new project would offer the guarantee that the nations beef was free of BSE.

The system comes into effect on 28 September. It will include a register of cattle, compulsory cattle tagging and a history of the animal until its death. Any creature which has been in contact with BSE, tuberculosis or other disease will be identified.

Mr Rooker said once the tracking system came on-line there was no excuses left for European politicians and scientists to not lift the ban.

Northern Ireland has a similar system in operation for the past 10 years and the service was a key reason why its export ban was lifted.

The new system will affect only cattle born after 28 September. The Government is negotiating with Brussels on a date-based scheme for cattle born after August 1996.

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