Export restriction zones to be eased further

Further good news for British farmers has emerged today, as the European Commission's Standing Committee on Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH) has reached an agreement to amend the restricted zones for foot-and-mouth disease.

The committee plans to reduce the 'no-export', restricted export and free zones to just two: an FMD-free area covering the whole of Great Britain, with the exception of an FMD-restricted export area, covering Surrey, plus 18 different local authority areas. There will be no third 'no-export' zone.

The local authorities in the proposed FMD-restricted export area are: Bracknell Forest, Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead, Wokingham, South Buckinghamshire, Hart, Rushmoor, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Richmond, Kingston, Ealing, Harrow, Brent, Hammersmith and Fulham, Wandsworth, Merton and Sutton.

The new rules are expected to be implemented in a couple of weeks. British Meat Processors Association director Stuart Roberts described the decision as "excellent news" for the industry.

Further details are due to be issued later today.

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