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British delegation will urge Japan to lift import ban

by 5m Editor
4 February 2003, at 12:00am

UK - The British pig industry makes a bid, next week, to win its Japanese and South East Asia markets back. Abattoirs and breeding companies are keeping their fingers crossed that the mission is a success.

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A deputation will have talks with the Japanese ministry of agriculture and will also meet representatives from the various bodies representing pig breeders, pork manufacturers and meat importers.

It is now 15 months since the last case of foot and mouth in Britain and America, Europe and Russia have all opened their doors to British pigs and pigmeat.

But Japan and South East Asia countries have yet to be persuaded, even though they value high quality British pigmeat and the advanced genetics of British breeders.

"We will listen to any fears they may have and will seek to allay them," said BPEX chief executive Mick Sloyan today, who will be joined by NPA executive director Stewart Houston, processor Grant Mackie, and Peter Hardwick from MLC's Brussels office.

It is important to persuade Japan to accept the British health certificate not just for the sake of trade with Japan, but because of the signal it will send to the rest of South East Asia where British stock is required by pig producers and British pig offals are popular with both manufacturers and consumers.

Before foot and mouth, the British pig sector's trade with Japan alone was worth about 34m a year.

The reason the British delegation is visiting breeders, processors and importers, as well as government, is that the Japanese ministry of agriculture will consult these bodies anyway before reaching a decision to lift restrictions.

Source: National Pig Association - 4th January 2003

5m Editor