01 September 1999
Now France set to keep beef ban
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 one month to the day after the global ban on British beef exports was lifted more than three years after the height of the BSE crisis in March 1996.
Countries other than Germany appeared to accept that British beef was safe when the resumption of British beef exports 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.
A German committee is now studying pending a study into the legality of the Commission decision and checks to ensure British beef was meeting safety standards.
At the same time, however, 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 set to join Germany in their reluctance to import British beef again.
An expert committee has been set up to advise 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.