EU to Reappraise Ban on British Meat Exports

EU - After Britain eased restrictions on livestock movement, the European Commission is expected to evaluate the situation during a meeting on Thursday and possibly lift the ban imposed on meat exports following the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.
calendar icon 22 August 2007
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“The standing committee on food chain and animal health will meet on Thursday. The main issue to discuss will be the situation in the UK following the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease,” Commission spokesman Philip Tod said.

On August 6, the Commission banned all exports of milk, meat and live animals but the term will end on Saturday and Britain expects that some of its exports to other EU countries to be resumed.

“The evolution of the disease situation is positive, so we will be considering on Thursday whether we can reduce the size of the high-risk and low-risk zones,” Tod said.

A first case of foot-and-mouth was reported on August 3 at a farm in the southern county of Surrey, other cases being discovered shortly in the same area. The two farms were included in a surveillance area and tests were conducted across England in order to avoid an outbreak like the one in 2001.

Then, approximately seven million animals were culled and the economic sector registered losses of nearly 8 billion pounds. But since the first cases were confirmed, no other infections were reported, tests carried out on presumed infected samples turning out negative.

The source of this outbreak may be some laboratories that produce vaccines against foot-and-mouth located near the Surrey farms, authorities said.

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