Brazilian Beef Banned and Slammed

EU - The EU Food and Veterinary Office has issued its latest report on Brazilian beef, after it was banned in the EU for 'systematic failures'.
calendar icon 17 April 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

Alistair Mackintosh, NFU

The official report of the inspection, held in November, states the failures were discovered in relation to holding registration, animal identification and movement controls, and provisions were not guaranteed to exclude slaughtered animals from non-approved FMD areas for export to the EU.

As a result of this inspection and the resultant EU ban on beef imports, apart from those from EU-approved holdings, currently just 95 farms are certified to export to the EU which is less than one per cent of the farms allowed to export, before the partial ban came into place.

In the UK, where calls for the ban originated, the National Farmers Union have said that they are happy with the report and claim that it clearly justifies their initial calls for a ban, made over a year ago.

The findings, says NFU livestock board chairman Alistair Mackintosh, prove not only was the NFU justified in calling for the ban on Brazilian beef exports to the EU, but that one should have been introduced earlier.

"This report highlights once again what we have told the Commission for a long time now, namely that one of our main competitors has been allowed to operate to lower standards of traceability than that of home producers", he said.

"High traceability standards in the UK mean I have to tag my cattle and register them to move them off my farm, so it makes my blood boil to see this report highlighting deficiencies in Brazilian controls which could allow for the fraudulent use of ear tags and for cattle from non-approved FMD areas of the country to be exported to the EU."

The NFU Cymru also agree with this analysis. Ed Ress, president of the union says; “while it has always been NFU Cymru’s preferred outcome to see a total ban on imports from Brazil, until they get their house in order, we expect the FVO to be vigilant and robust in its monitoring of the situation in Brazil to ensure they operate to the same standards as those expected of home producers.”

Unsuprisingly, the National Farmers' Union of Scotland hold the same opinion. Reacting to the report, NFU Scotland’s Vice-President Nigel Miller said:

“This document reports on a mission which took place before the Commission published its current list of 95 approved farms which can export beef to the EU.

“It is likely, therefore, that the mission’s conclusions finally made the Commission see sense and place its significant ban on the majority of Brazilian beef farmers. The report’s conclusions confirm that the EU's new controls are not only justified but should have been introduced many years ago.

“However, we question whether these controls are strict enough as the evidence for an outright ban continues to mount up.

“The report also destroys any pretence that regionalisation and disease control within Brazil are at all credible. The European Commission owes it to European producers to impose an outright ban on imports of Brazilian beef.”

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