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Now, NFU Cymru Raise Concerns Over Brazilian Beef

12 August 2009

BRAZIL - Concerns have been raised again by NFU Cymru over the traceability standard of meat entering the from following the recent publication of an European Commission Food and Veterinary Office Report relating to a visit the Commission made to earlier this year.

The FVO report shows that despite improvements from previous commission visits there are still serious problems with animal identification and movement controls on Brazilian beef farms. Of the 12 farms visited problems were found on six farms, three being classed as significant and three as minor.

NFU Cymru Vice President, Ed Bailey, speaking at Anglesey Show, said he was appalled to hear that problems of this magnitude continued to be found on farms in Brazil which are approved to supply meat to the EU. He said, “When you consider the identification, traceability and movement recording requirements farmers in Wales adhere to, how can we be expected to compete for space on supermarket shelves with a country that appears to be treating EU standards with contempt?”

The problems encountered included:-

  • A trained auditor stamping and signing a movement document indicating it had been received seven months before the actual date of receipt.
  • On one holding 50 animals born on the farm were ear-tagged and introduced onto the central database up to 14 months after they were born.
  • A supervisor accepting the number of animals present on a feedlot declared by the owner without taking any action to verify this. It transpired that he failed to take account of 1,264 animals already present when the feedlot started its operation.
  • Conflict of interests were found with government supervisors acting also as vets on the farms they were auditing and in one case the vet even owned animals on the farm he was inspecting.
  • Serious discrepancies were found on some holdings between calves born and calves registered on the central database.
  • 11 unidentified cattle had been included in a consignment that was sent to an EU approved slaughterhouse.

Ed Bailey said, “Previous FVO missions have set the standards that the Brazilian authorities must comply with, in order to prevent the very real risk of Foot and Mouth disease entering the EU from Brazil. Having seen the evidence that standards of traceability still remain well below our own makes me believe that a tougher stance must be taken.

“Either Brazil meets EU standards or it does not export meat to Europe - it should be as simple as that. The report clearly shows in black and white that the certification of Brazilian beef farms falls short of the standards required and as such Brazilian beef should be banned until such time as it does.”

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