The lifting of meat export restrictions for most of GB, agreed
a fortnight ago by Brussels vets, has now come into force. The
European Commission confirmed the implementation on Monday 19th
NFUS Vice President
The most significant part of the decision for Scottish farmers
is the lifting of the 21-day standstill, which prevented farmers
sending animals to slaughter for the export market if they had
brought other live animals on to the farm in the preceding three
weeks. Given all the sales currently underway, this has posed a
major hurdle to farmers looking to export animals.
The decision implemented today splits Great Britain into three
The export of live animals remains banned, with little prospect
of a lifting until Great Britain is declared free of foot and
mouth by the world animal health body – the OIE – around
the turn of the year. Live imports, however, are now allowed.
- No Export Area – this is area immediately around Pirbright
from which no animals are eligible for the export market.
Export Area – this is the wider area in the
South East of England from which animals can go for slaughter
but only under certain conditions.
- Free Export Area – this
is Scotland and the rest of GB from which animals can go for
export without conditions.
NFUS Vice President Nigel Miller said:
“This has taken a long time to come about and it is frustrating
that it has taken a fortnight to turn the decision by the EU veterinary
committee into a reality. This move will help the sheep market
and I’d expect to see a boost to prices on cattle with the
Continental market for older cattle now easier to access.
“The 21-day standstill has been a real nightmare and the
previous export decision has not helped a massive number of people.
We have been trying to catch up with livestock sales, which were
all delayed due to the movement restrictions. Therefore farmers
have been needing to bring new animals on to farm, but, until today,
finding it has landed them with a three-week ban on sending animals
for the export market.
“We are going to keep working on getting live exports back.
The complete loss of the market for dairy bull calves in particular
has been a real blow and it has also hit those looking to export
breeding animals. We have been told we are unlikely to see live
exports until the turn of the year when GB regains its global FMD-free
status. But we’ll be pushing for an earlier start than that.
“In the meantime, our fight for proper UK Government compensation
for the disaster of the last four months continues and we have
still to see some of the major supermarkets live up to their responsibilities.”
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