UK allowed to export sheep and goat meat again

The Standing Veterinary Committee adopted a Commission proposal allowing the UK to export fresh sheep and goat meat from certain areas in Great Britain under strict conditions, for the first time since the foot-and-mouth outbreak. The export of farmed and wild game meat from certain areas will also be allowed.

The distribution of fresh sheep and goat meat will be allowed from holdings in the areas already authorised to export fresh pig meat since 22 October and fresh bovine meat since 30 October (counties of eastern England and Wales, Scottish counties and Scottish islands). The dispatch of fresh farmed and wild game meat will also be allowed in certain areas. The authorisation concerns all the counties that have had no outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease or have remained free of the disease for more than three months.

Mr David Byrne, Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection declared that the EU will continue its policy of gradually lifting protective measures in regions considered completely free of foot-and-mouth disease.


British pigmeat exports last year were mainly to the EU and were valued at £183 million for 214,000 tonnes of meat. Earlier this year, the highly infectious foot-and-mouth disease hit more than 2,000 farms in Britain and led to the slaughter of nearly four million animals.

There have been no new outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease in Great Britain since 30 September. In many areas, no outbreaks have been reported since the beginning of the epidemic.

UK pigmeat export restrictions on Northern Ireland had already been lifted on 7 June. On 10 October, the EU's Standing Veterinary Committee recommended that pigmeat from certain areas in the UK should also be allowed to export under strict conditions, for the first time since the foot-and-mouth crisis.


The proposal will be formally adopted by the Commission in the coming days and will enter into force as soon as adopted by the Commission. It will be applicable until 31 December 2001 and will be reviewed regularly by the Standing Veterinary Committee.


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