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Rising hopes in the land of the rising sun

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

UK - Major steps have been taken towards re-opening the Japanese market to British pig meat and genetics, closed since the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease.

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A highly successful British Pig Executive (BPEX) trade mission has just returned from Japan and members are confident resumption of trade is well on the way.

However, an inspection of UK systems by the Japanese still has to take place and it is likely to be the summer before the final green light is given. The mission was led by British Pig Executive Chairman and National Pig Association Executive Director Stewart Houston hoping to re-establish a trade that used to be worth 314 million a year.

He was accompanied by BPEX Chief Executive Mick Sloyan and BPEX member Grant Mackie, representing the British Meat Manufacturers Association together with Meat and Livestock Commission International Manager Peter Hardwick. Stewart said: “Following the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease, we have learned valuable lessons. In particular we have greatly improved our controls on animal movements and our pig farming systems to minimise the risk of disease spread.

“I am pleased to say this has been recognised by the OlE and many countries with whom we trade such as the USA. We understand fully Japanese authorities must be absolutely satisfied about the safety of British pork and pig genetics.

“The outcome of this mission is extremely positive and I am delighted at the real progress made towards restarting the flow of British pig meat to Japan.“

Stewart also paid tribute to the hard work by Defra which had paved the way for the progress made by the mission.

During the visit, the members met Japanese Government Officials and a number of trade associations who were all very positive about re-opening their market to British pig meat.

Source: Meat and Livestock Commission - 14 February 2003

5m Editor