Meat industry welcomes lifting of meat export ban

The meat industry is delighted with today's decision by the (SCoFCaH) at the European Commission to allow red meat exports from the UK back into Europe.

The meat industry is delighted with today's decision by the Standing Committee on Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCaH) at the European Commission to allow red meat exports from the UK back into Europe.

The announcement of a lifting of the Foot and Mouth related export ban allowing meat and livestock exports to EU member states to resume from Saturday 25 August is great news for the livestock industry, said EBLEX chief executive John Cross.

"Europe is our single most important export market taking around 90% of UK meat and livestock exports. Getting the go ahead to resume trading so quickly means the industry should be able to recover sales volumes rapidly over the next six to eight weeks.

"Our export companies are all prepared for a flying start and the EBLEX export team based across Europe has been working flat out to maintain the interest of importers, and over the next few weeks they will focus on helping exporters rapidly re-establish beef and lamb trading volumes."

Cross continued: "Export markets are especially vital to the lamb industry as we near our peak Autumn production volumes. This welcome news on the reopening of export markets should help bolster farmgate prices at this important time.

"We still have a way to go before the industry is back on a normal footing, but we are heartened by the rapid progress that is now being made."

Quality Meat Scotland also welcomed the lifting of the export ban. QMS chairman Donald Biggar said the announcement will set in motion a chain of events that could see trade resume from Scottish exporting companies next week.

NFU President Peter Kendall said: "This is fantastic news. It shows SCoFCH is happy with what has been done during the FMD outbreak and is clearly satisfied with the work the farming industry has done with Defra in ensuring the disease was contained within a small area.

"This is a positive move by SCoFCH and will obviously mean a significant change for our members who have remained vigilant and co-operated with Government to bring this situation to an early end."

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