26 October 1998
EU ban on Australian beef?
EUROPEAN Union veterinary experts have warned that conditions in Australian abattoirs are below par and have threatening to ban millions of pounds worth of beef exports.
The EU has given Australia six months to improve controls or face a ban on beef exports to Europe.
The ultimatum follows a six-year dispute over slaughterhouse supervision in the country.
Horst Reichenbach, EU director general of consumer and health protection, said he was confident Australia would comply.
“But if they do not honour their promises nobody has been left in any doubt as to the consequences,” he warned.
EU inspectors found Australian veterinary supervision “generally weak” at six slaughterhouses visited last March.
Controls were sometimes surrendered to the companies whose meat was being checked.
The inspectors also found congested working conditions and said maintenance and cleanliness were neglected in many places.
Peter Thomas, Australias agriculture attache to the EU, said the country planned to make the changes required by the EU within two months.
- Financial Times 26/10/98 page 4