Ban Brazilian Beef to Curb Foot and Mouth Threat ,Says MEP

FARMING UK - Liberal Democrat MEP Liz Lynne today called on the UK Government and the European Commission to consider a total ban on beef imports from Brazil.
calendar icon 4 September 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

Whilst the latest UK outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) seems to be under control and the temporary EU ban on UK meat and dairy exports has ended, beef imports in to the EU from Brazil, where FMD remains a problem, are still permitted.

This raises concerns because of lax standards and a lack of traceability of livestock from that country which emerged in evidence the European Parliament heard from the Irish Farmers' Association and Farmers' Journal after a joint investigation.

Speaking in Strasbourg today, Ms Lynne commented,

"Restrictions introduced in the UK during the latest Foot and Mouth outbreak were severe and appear to have worked quickly, in stark contrast to the standards applied in Brazil, where the size of the country and the weak inspection system pose great obstacles to effective control."

Farmers and traders are widely suspected of cutting corners and getting around the law, still selling livestock from regions with an export ban in place or even from Paraguay and Bolivia, where FMD remains a serious concern. This can then be marketed as 'safe' Brazilian beef, from approved regions.

"If Brazilian beef is to be sold in Europe, checks in Brazil must be as strict as they are for our own farmers. As this is currently not happening, a total ban should be considered until their inspection system can be brought up to scratch."

"There is simply no point in acting to save EU livestock from British FMD if the disease can sneak into Europe via the back door."

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