NFU says continued ban on Brazilian beef justified

The continued ban on Brazilian beef has been justified by EU report says the National Farmers Union.

The continued ban on Brazilian beef has been justified by EU report says the National Farmers Union.

It said a report out by the EU Food and Veterinary Office has justified its call for a ban on Brazilian beef more than a year ago, after the inspection found 'systematic failures'.

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.

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.

"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."

Mackintosh said: "While it has always been the NFU'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."

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