Friday, April 18 2008
Conservative MEP and Chairman of the European Parliament Agriculture Committee, Neil Parish today called the ban on the import of Brazilian beef "fully justified" after a report from the EU Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) found "systematic failures" in many of the Brazilian traceability and animal identification systems.
In 2005, the European Commission banned the import of beef from three Brazilian states which had foot and mouth disease, however, the FVO report admitted that it was virtually impossible to confirm that beef imported into the EU from other Brazilian states had not originally come from Foot and Mouth infected areas. The FVO report found many failings, including the fraudulent use of ear tags, a complete lack of traceability of cattle, serious problems in the slaughterhouses and processing plants and in at least two cases, holdings were able to export to the EU, even after being banned from doing so.
Since the ban came into force on 1st February 2008, only 80 tonnes of beef has been imported from Brazil into the EU from 95 holdings that have been licensed to export. In 2007, 300,000 tonnes were imported from over 10,000 farm holdings.
Mr Parish said:
"This report is absolutely damning and fully justifies the ban on Brazilian beef. It also backs up what I have been telling the European Commission for a long time. It is a disgrace that farmers in the EU have to adhere to very high traceability standards, yet at the same time, Brazilian beef was allowed in that was nowhere near these standards.
"I also want to know why it took so long for the European Commission to put the ban in place; we warned them about this last summer and this FVO report took place in November but the beef was not banned until February. There are clearly serious problems in the Brazilian industry and if they want to start importing into our market again, they will have to meet the same high standards that our farmers do."
Promoted by Alan Mabbutt on behalf of the Conservative Party, both at 30 Millbank, London, SW1P 4DP