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EU Declares Scotland FMD-Free

by 5m Editor
20 November 2007, at 4:07pm

UK - The export market to mainland Europe has re-opened and Scotland's livestock producers have more the celebrate than most. The nation is has been declared officially free from FMD - a status that does not apply to Great Britain in general.

The Scottish industry can now resume its export trade in all red meat products, although officials in Brussels have taken their time to signal that the Scotch product is once again welcome throughout mainland Europe.

Nigel Miller, vice-president of NFU Scotland and a qualified veterinary surgeon, said that had been extremely frustrating as it had taken a full fortnight to turn the initial decision into reality

"This should help the sheep market and I also expect a boost to prices now that we can access once again to important outlets," he added.

Before last night's announcement, farmers and the trade were subject restrictions that made exporting extremely difficult - but possible. In effect, farms were locked up for 21 days with no movements permitted in or off the premises. That has helped to drive down market prices, to hit their lowest for 30 years.

The industry view now is that the mere four cases of FMD in Surrey have caused as much financial damage and disruption to the industry as the outbreak of 2001 - the world's worst FMD epidemic.

5m Editor