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Calls for Ban on Brazilian Beef Now Even More Justified
12/11/07

NFU Scotland believes that calls for a ban on Brazilian beef are further justified by the recent EU Veterinary report which evaluated animal health procedures in the Brazilian livestock industry.

About 80% of all cattle in Brazil are based on
tropics-friendly Nelore (zebu-type) genetics.

Nelore

The latest EU Commission report demonstrates that the country’s traceability system is still well below the standard which European farmers must by law comply with.

Specifically, the EU Commission report concludes that:

  • No systematic audit system for animal health has been established either at State or Central level;
  • There was no programme to monitor the efficacy of Foot and Mouth Disease vaccination in 2007;
  • The Report calls into question the reliability of the system to determine that animals have been resident in a Foot and Mouth free region for 90 days before export (an EU requirement);
  • EU Inspectors discovered that meat from an animal which was not eligible for export, had been exported to the EU. The Report stated that some Official Brazilian Veterinarians were not familiar with the traceability system in place;

NFU Scotland is calling for a European ban on Brazilian beef to be put in place at least until the problems have been fully rectified and ongoing independent monitoring is introduced.

Nigel Miller, NFU Scotland Vice-President, said:

“NFUS has long stressed its huge concerns given the increasing evidence that what is happening in Brazil falls well short of what is acceptable for European consumers. This report further validates these concerns since almost every key barrier mechanism seems to have been breached in quite a serious way.

“The EU policy of restricting imports from certain Brazilian regions would be acceptable if there was confidence that movement controls or traceability rules within Brazil were adhered to or policed but we can now see evidence that this guarantee cannot be given. The principle of regionalisation is important but is only robust if assurances can be given that the operation of the system is strongly policed.

“European farmers are subject to strict traceability and health and welfare regulations, as was evident during the recent Foot and Mouth outbreak in Surrey. Many farmers are quite rightly asking questions about why Brazilian beef doesn’t seem to be subject to the same rigorous controls.

“It is time that action was taken to ensure that the high animal welfare and excellent traceability evident in the EU is not undermined by lower standard imports from Brazil. Exports need to be stopped until all of the faults that were outlined by the latest report can be rectified. Given the level of defects, I will have no confidence in Brazilian imports unless independent monitoring and auditing is introduced and enforced to ensure that standards are adequate.”

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