HC Deb 20 December 1982 vol 34 cc338-9W
Mr. Colin Shepherd

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much beef has been imported into the United Kingdom from the Argentine in the last 24, 12, six and three months, respectively; under what arrangements it has been imported; and if he is satisfied that there is no risk of the accidental importation of foot and mouth disease from this trade.

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

The tonnages imported in the respective periods, ending on 31 October 1982, which is the latest calendar month for which complete information is available, were:

Chilled and frozen beef Processed beef products
24 months 23,630 34,778
12 months 11,765 11,062
6 months 29 107
3 months 0 0

Source: United Kingdom Overseas Trade Statistics.

Until the imposition of the ban on the import of Argentine goods into the United Kingdom on 6 April 1982, Argentine beef could be imported both at normal rates of levy and duty and under various concessionary arrangements established by the European Community in respect of third country supplies. At the time of the introduction of the ban, provision was made for the exemption of goods already in transit or in bonded store, but this provision expired on 28 May.

Before imports of Argentine beef ceased they were subject to detailed health certification so as to protect the health of our livestock. If a resumption of trade were to be contemplated, we would need to be satisfied that the animal health situation in the Argentine did not threaten the freedom of our livestock from foot and mouth disease.