§ Mr. Peter Duncan
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the earliest possible date is on which the beef export market could be opened; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Bradshaw
It has been possible since 1 August 1999 to export cattle but only under the stringent rules of the Date-based Export Scheme (DBES).
The FSA have advised that we could replace the Over Thirty Months Rule by testing for cattle born after 1 August 1996 which could then enter the food chain from January 2004. Ministers are considering this advice.
If there were to be a change in OTM rule for domestic consumption the UK would wish to see a similar change in export controls. However it is not possible to give a precise date for any such relaxation of current beef export controls. An EFSA opinion is expected in early 2004. In addition an inspection by the EU FVO is likely to be required. We would then need agreement of other member states and changes to EU regulations. Export controls are therefore unlikely to change before mid 2004.
§ Malcolm Bruce
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much UK-produced beef was exported by(a) weight and (b) value in 2002; and what percentage of this was (i) beef of UK origin and (ii) beef of foreign origin. 
§ Mr. Bradshaw
Data relating to the national origin of beef and veal exported from the UK are not available. However, it is possible to calculate the total UK exports as a percentage of the home fed production.
Data are provided as follows for UK beef and veal production and exports for the 2002 calendar year.
UK exports as a percentage of the home fed production UK Home fed production (thousand tonnes, dew1) 692 UK exports to the EU2 11 UK exports to the rest of the world2 0 Total UK exports2 11 UK exports as percentage of UK home fed production2 1.6% Total value of UK home fed production £1,117 million Total value of UK exports £18 million 1 dew = dressed carcase weight 2 Includes exports of non UK origin