11 May 1998
EU ministers see cattle-tracing progress
By Johann Tasker in Newcastle-on-Tyne
EUROPEAN Union farm ministers this morning (Monday) saw first-hand the steps taken by the UK towards establishing a reliable cattle tracing system.
The 15 ministers visited the Duke of Northumberlands estate near Newcastle on the second of a three-day Informal EU Council meeting.
They were shown a video and supporting exhibition detailing how the UKs traceability system will work once the British Cattle Movement Service is launched later this year.
UK farm minister Jack Cunningham, who is curremtly president of the EU Council of Agriculture Ministers, sees the informal visit as an opportunity to emphasise exactly what has been achieved in the Governments continued efforts to get the beef export ban lifted.
“Informal gatherings of this sort are not designed for specific decisions to be taken,” he said. “There is, however, a common thread running through the programme, namely the importance of securing a safe and sustainable agriculture for Europe.”