East Anglian meat exports back on track

Exports from East Anglia's meat plants will be allowed from next week, the European Commission's food safety experts agreed yesterday.The new rules will permit meat to be exported from Norfolk and Suffolk, which has been welcomed by Ian Campbell, of the National Pig Association.

Exports from East Anglia's meat plants will be allowed from next week, the European Commission's food safety experts agreed yesterday.

The new rules will permit meat to be exported from Norfolk and Suffolk, which has been welcomed by Ian Campbell, of the National Pig Association.

The export ban imposed after the August 3 outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Surrey hit the pig sector hard because Europe is a vital market for cull sows.

Mr Campbell, who is the East Anglian-based regional manager for the NPA, said movement to abattoirs in Essex to process cull sows had been allowed. However, this meat could not yet be exported, he added.


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“It is good news but it depends on the precise conditions that have been agreed,” he said.

Although Europe eased rules last week to allow exports from Scotland, Wales and parts of England, it has now been relaxed to include meat plants in Norfolk, Suffolk, Dorset, Somerset, Worcestershire and Leicestershire.

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Deputy chief vet Fred Landeg said: “This is a welcome decision from the commission and other member states. It demonstrates the confidence they have in the measures we are taking to eradicate FMD through our ongoing extensive surveillance and epidemiological work.”

Meanwhile, the bluetongue control zone in Kent has been extended into East Sussex following confirmation of a new case near Rye to bring the total to 47 in Suffolk, Essex, and Peterborough.

Animal health officials were checking flocks and herds in the Peterborough area to check the possible spread and the link with a ram moved - legally - from Norfolk. The ram might have been infected by a midge before the disease was found in Suffolk on September 22.

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