03 November 1998
Moment of truth for beef ban as Euro-vets vote
By FWi staff
EUROPEAN veterinary experts are expected to vote tomorrow (Wednesday) on the lifting of ban on British beef exports.
European Farm Commissioner Franz Fischler has proposed that the export ban should be lifted for meat from cattle born after August 1996.
For the 30-month ban to be lifted, the EU veterinary standing committee must support the scheme by a qualified majority.
If, as expected, there is no strong majority in favour, the decision will then be put to a vote by farm ministers on at a European Council meeting on 23 November. At that meeting, only a simple majority of at least eight out of 15 votes is needed for the ban to be lifted.
Resistance has softened to the ban with Germany the only country that remains firmly opposed to a resumption of overseas trade. Luxembourg and the Netherlands are also said to be considering voting against abolishing the ban.