5 December 2001
Green light for live pig exports
By FWi staff
MORE half of the UKs pig producers have been given the go-ahead to restart live exports from 14 December.
European Union vets meeting in Brussels on Tuesday (4 December) announced shipments of live pigs could resume from disease-free counties.
Pig farmers from Norfolk, Suffolk, Lincolnshire and Humberside will benefit from the ruling.
National Pig Association (NPA) chairman James Black said the resumption of exports was “manna from heaven” for breeding companies.
“UK pig-breeding stock remains greatly in demand despite all the traumas of the past year,” he added.
New conditions have been introduced to ensure that trade from areas at the lowest risk from foot-and-mouth resumes first.
Pig must be kept on farms for 7-30 days at either end of the journey, during which time no animals susceptible to foot-and-mouth can be introduced.
The NPA believes the move is the first step towards lifting export restrictions on other disease-free counties.
It hopes that the go-ahead will also be given for exports from areas where foot-and-mouth has occurred and been eradicated.
A decision on both issues will be taken at the next Standing Veterinary Committee meeting on 18 December.
Total live shipments from the UK approached 17 million last year, representing about 10% of total pig meat exports.