01 September 1999
Now France set to keep beef ban
by FWi staff
FRANCE is unlikely to accept shipments of British beef, despite last months decision by the European Union to allow the resumption of the export trade.
The blow comes exactly one month to the day following the lifting of the ban on British beef exports imposed during BSE crisis more than three years ago.
Countries other than Germany appeared to accept that British beef was safe when the resumption of British beef exports was given the go ahead on 1 August.
But the German government claimed it was “too early” to accept British beef and said questions remained over whether the meat was free from BSE.
At the same time, French officials indicated that all administrative procedures allowing beef shipments into France would be completed within weeks.
But a report in the newspaper Le Monde now says that the French government is as reluctant as Germany in its reluctance to import British beef again.
A German committee is now studying the legality of the Commission decision to lift the ban and is checking to ensure that British beef meets all the safety standards.
A similar committee has now been set up to advise French government officials on the issue and is expected to report back before the end of the month.
The National Farmers Union this afternoon said it was deeply concerned over the move and claimed that France was obliged to accept British beef.