USA reopens the market to EU beef

USA reopens the market to EU beef

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) rule announcement to bring the US legislation in line with international standards for BSE has been broadly welcomed by industry.

The decision will mean that EU beef and other bovine products will again be allowed for US export. The US market has been closed since January 1998 when the US imposed a ban on EU beef on BSE grounds. The re-opening is a welcome, albeit late, step to abolish the unjustified ban and to re-establish normal trading conditions says the European Commission.

Jim McLaren, chairman of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) said: “The re-opening of this valuable market sends a further clear message to the Scotch Beef industry of the growing global opportunities that exist for our high quality products.

“This is a welcome further boost to confidence and underlines the strong and positive growth in demand which we have seen over recent months and years for beef of high quality and provenance.

“The greatest threat facing the sector remains the availability of stock to take full advantage of these opportunities, and I would reiterate my encouragement to Scotland’s livestock farmers to increase production in an effort to meet the demand.”

NFU livestock board chairman Charles Sercombe said: “The beef industry has gone through a number of difficult years but a lot of work is being done to develop export markets around the world and I believe we can be optimistic about our market prospects in the future.

“We now need equivalent rule changes on TSEs in sheep and goats to reflect international standards and we hope this could be agreed early next year.”

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