Food Law News - UK - 1998
29 July 1998: BEEF - Nick Brown Acts on Beef Ban
MAFF Press Release (316/98), 29 July 1998
Nick Brown Acts on Beef Ban
A decision which will add impetus to the UK's effort to lift the ban on British beef was announced today. Nick Brown's first major initiative [since his appointment as Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries on 27 July 1998] was to make money available to cull the offspring born on or after 1 August 1996 to cows that had BSE. This meets a key condition in a European Commission proposal which would lead to the export of cattle born after that date.
Mr Brown said:
"My aim is for British beef to be accepted as the safest in the world. It is one of my priorities to get it back on world markets. We have invested a lot of time and money working to eliminate BSE and making sure that the public is protected. Today's decision is an extra push to open the door for our beef producers to sell in an international marketplace. Farmers will receive the market value for their animals. In some cases the value will be taken from a scale rather than from individual valuations. Our aim is to help hard pressed beef farmers by making sure the process is complete as quickly as possible.
Mr Brown took the opportunity to outline his key targets for his Ministry. They are to:
- set up the Food Standards Agency and establish a new role for MAFF;
- resolve the problem of BSE and take action against other animal diseases;
- press for reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and reduce its cost to consumers and taxpayers;
- work to sustain and enhance an attractive and accessible countryside;
- encourage the restructuring of the farming and fishing industries.
The Minister added:
"Protection of public health is a top priority. Consumer interests are at the heart of decision making in my department."
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