EU Ban On Brazilian Beef Comes Closer

21 January 2008
SNP Member of the European Parliament's Agricultural Committee Mr Alyn Smith has today welcomed steps by the European Commission to massively restrict access to the EU for Brazilian Beef, but reiterated his call for a total ban.

Officials from the European Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) briefed the committee on new rules to be brought into effect at the end of this month to restrict access by Brazilian beef to the EU's market. Mr Smith and other MEPs have called for a total ban on the grounds that there are serious question marks over Brazil's treatment of animals and control of disease. These concerns were highlighted last year when the Scottish Beef Cattle Association submitted a petition to the European Parliament calling for a ban and Mr Smith drafted a Written Declaration, signed by other MEPs calling for action by the Commission.

The detail of the new regime is reproduced at the note below, but will in essence see imports to the EU being restricted from 1 February to only 300 eligible farms out of Brazil's 10,000.

Speaking after the meeting Mr Smith said:

"This is a total vindication of the campaign to ban Brazilian Beef.

"These steps are to be welcomed, but they have been a long time coming and I well remember the reaction from some quarters when we first raised this issue. The Scottish Beef Cattle Association and the Irish farming bodies are to be commended for the dogged way they have kept this issue in the public eye.

"I hope we in the Parliament has played our part too. The petition, the Written Declaration have all afforded us the opportunity to keep the shortcomings of Brazil's farmers to the fore. The new regime will come into force in just ten days time and it will be a job well done. Sadly it is not the end of the issue and we must continue to ensure that Brazil's standards are the same as ours if they want to import to our market.

"For that reason I'm hoping to take part in an inspection myself in April, to go, unannounced, to some farms we are assured are meeting our standards to make sure they actually are."