12 May 1998
High hopes for GB beef exports in ’98
FRANZ FISCHLER, European Union farm commissioner, raised hopes that overseas sales of British mainland beef from cattle born after August 1996 could start later this year.
Farm ministers will consider ending the ban when the Commission puts forward Britains born after proposal next month. Britain maintains that cattle born after August 1996 are safe to eat because this was the date when meat and bone meal was banned and because their history can be traced.
This proposal differs from Northern Irelands certified herd scheme bid which was given the green light by EU farm ministers earlier this year. Northern Ireland is expected to start exporting later this month or in June once a number of technical problems are cleared up.
The commissioners comments followed a demonstration from the UK Government in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on how the UK was fighting BSE with a sophisticated cattle tracing system. Ministers and officials were apparently impressed with yesterdays cattle tracing demonstration.
Its possible that farm ministers could lift the export ban on British beef when they consider the born after proposal next month, however, most officials predict that this was unlikely with an autumn end to the ban more realistic.
- UK cattle tracing impresses EU ministers, FWi, yesterday (11 May) — Click here
- Financial Times 12/05/98 page 16