Germany has indicated that it cannot apply the EU Decision to lift the embargo until the national Decree banning imports of British beef is rescinded by the upper House of Parliament, the Bundesrat, which is not due to sit until September 24. The German Government caused an outcry in Britain on August 4, with politicians from all parties echoing farmers in their indignation at Bonn's refusal to lift the embargo. However, the Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC), which represents British producers, points out that Germany imported only about 2000 tonnes of beef per year before the embargo, compared with some 79,000 tonnes shipped to France. Paris has meanwhile indicated that procurement of British beef cannot resume before the beginning of September, pending a Decree transposing the EU Decision. Two cases of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) have recently been detected in France, raising to twenty seven the number of animals found to be infected with mad cow disease since the beginning of the year.First exports.The European embargo on British beef was lifted on August 1 but the resumption of exports promises to be slow and gradual. On August 23, the United Kingdom exported its first consignment of beef since the embargo was imposed by the European Commission on March 27, 1996. 48 kg of beef was shipped to Brussels for a press lunch held on August 26. The shipment originated from the only British abattoir that currently has the necessary equipment to issue export licences. By 1995, the UK was exporting almost 250,000 tonnes of beef per year; a maximum of 5,000 tonnes are likely to be exported in 1999. Britain's Agriculture Minister, Nick Brown, recently acknowledged that other traders have recovered the markets lost by the UK and that it is likely to take years to dislodge them.Inquiry into contaminated carcases.An inquiry has meanwhile been opened in the UK to determine whether the carcases of some 50,000 cows infected with mad cow disease and stored in...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT