FMD A Blow To Consumer Confidence

AUSTRALIA - There will be no market access or trade benefits for Australian cattle producers as a consequence of the foot and mouth disease detected in England on Friday.
calendar icon 6 August 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
In a major blow for the UK beef industry, still recovering from the devastating disease outbreak in 2001, a different strain of FMD was detected on a farm near Surrey, just south of London, with an immediate cull of 38 infected cattle and other livestock possibly in contact with the infection completed over the weekend.

Authorities are now investigating the cause of this outbreak, with concerns the disease could have spread from a government laboratory which was using this particular strain as part of an FMD vaccine.

Cattle Council of Australia executive director, David Inall, said there would be few if any perceived benefits for anyone from this outbreak because of the disruption to trade and the erosion, once again, of consumer confidence in beef.

"Any incident that erodes consumer confidence in beef is of great concern to the Australian industry," Mr Inall said.

"Australia's market access for beef into the European Union, which includes the United Kingdom, is limited by a quota of 7150 tonnes per annum.

"Any perceived opportunity for increased access is heavily outweighed by the erosion of consumer confidence and disruption to trade that follows incidents such as this one."

Source: North Queensland Register
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