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Exports of meat, milk from Britain banned

London, August 6, 2007

Exports of fresh meat, live animals and milk products will be banned from all of mainland Britain following its recent outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, the European Commission said on Monday.

A spokesman said the commission, the executive arm of the European Union, would formalise the decision -- which was agreed with Britain -- later on Monday. EU veterinary experts may review the measure when they meet on Wednesday, he said.

'The main element will be the establishment of a high-risk area from which cattle, sheep and goats cannot be exported,' spokesman Philip Tod told a daily news briefing. 'Nor can fresh meat and milk be exported.'

He said the commission had agreed with British authorities to define the territory of Great Britain as that high-risk area, meaning 'live animals and milk products will not be able to be despatched from Great Britain'.

'The British authorities have ... requested that we treat the whole of Great Britain as a high-risk area,' Tod said, rather than limiting the ban to a limited geographical area around the outbreak as the commission had originally planned.

'We are very happy to take that up in the Community (EU) decision,' Tod said. 'The Commission understands that this has been taken as a precautionary measure ... and it can be reviewed as early as Wednesday if the situation on the ground allows.'

Several countries have already blocked imports of meat or animals coming from Britain, or have said they will do so.

The UAE said it will temporarily ban the import of all types of animal products from the UK. An order to this effect was issued by the Minister of Environment and Water Dr Mohammed Saeed Al Kindi.

Japan and South Korea have temporarily halted pork imports from Britain, while the United States -- which already restricts UK imports of cattle and sheep due to other health scares -- has said it will ban imports of pork and pork products.

Ireland has banned imports of meat and non-pasteurised milk as well as livestock from Britain, a step it is allowed to take under EU rules but only as a temporary short-term measure. - Reuters   




Tags: Exports | Meat | Foot-and-mouth disease | cattle |

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