"This is a very encouraging result. The discussion has gone well. Had France voted in favour, rather than abstaining, we would have obtained the necessary qualified majority for final and complete approval of the scheme.
"The decision should now be taken at the Agriculture Council on 16-17 March, where a simple majority is all that will be required.
"To win by ten votes to four, with one abstention, in the Standing Veterinary Committee should mean that we have a good chance of securing a majority in favour of the ECHS in the Council."