HC Deb 27 April 1998 vol 311 cc31-2W
Mr. Barry Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he expects the restriction on the export of Welsh beef to be lifted; and if he will make a statement. [39278]

Mr. Win Griffiths

We are doing everything possible to bring about the resumption of our exports from the UK as a whole. On 16 March the Agriculture Council adopted a Decision which would lift the export ban from beef from export certified herds in Northern Ireland.

The Export Certified Herd Scheme is available only to animals whose history can be traced by computer—so it is only applicable in Northern Ireland initially, until the GB Cattle tracing system is fully functional.

Proposals for a UK Date Based Export Scheme for the export of animals born after 1 August 1996 (when we believe the feed risk was eliminated from the supply chain) have been considered by the Scientific Steering Committee (SSC), which gave a positive Opinion. The SSC commented on our formal response to their initial Opinion in a further Opinion on 20 February. We await reaction from the Commission to the UK response and to the SSC's further Opinion

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