FMD Free Status Puts UK Back on Track

UK - Britain's pig industry is hoping the country's re-instated Foot and Mouth Disease-Free status will aid survival. The British Pig Executive (BPEX) is delighted with the news and says it give a welcome moral boost to the beleaguered sector.
calendar icon 25 February 2008
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But both stress this is a beginning not an end and the hard work gets under way now restoring lost markets outside the EU and a joint programme targeting 24 countries has been drawn up by BPEX, EBLEX and Defra.

The UK has now regained its FMD-free status from the all-important OIE (Office International des Epizooties) which is recognised by Third Countries - trade within the EU has already restarted.

"They are an important part of improving the sustainability of our domestic livestock sector."
BPEX Chairman Stewart Houston

Negotiations are then usually required with individual countries to agree to reinstate health certificates for trade in meat and livestock.

A huge programme of work to regain lost ground is ready to roll out says BPEX and EBLEX Export Manager Jean-Pierre Garnier.

"Third Country exports are as varied as meat, offal, hides, casings and genetics and their value is more than £70 million per year. "They are an important part of improving the sustainability of our domestic livestock sector," he said.

BPEX Chairman Stewart Houston saidthat exports are vital if we are to have a sustainable British pig industry.

"We will be working extremely hard not only to regain lost markets but also to open new ones such as China. It is particularly important at the moment as the industry is in crisis having to cope with sky-high feed costs and static prices," he added.

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