There was relief for British farmers as the EU dropped its ban on exports of meat, dairy products and livestock. The restriction was imposed after the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in southern England earlier this month.
EU veterinary experts have decided the measure should only remain in place for a ten-kilometre zone in which the virus was discovered. The ruling takes effect this coming Saturday.
Britain’s Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer welcomed the news:
“This was a better decision than we had hoped for, there will be some administrative measures to put in place in terms of certification and before animals can be exported under these strict rules, there has to be a three day notice,” Fred Landeg said.
It is thought one of two research laboratories in the affected area may have been the source of the outbreak.
With memories of the devastating 2001 foot and mouth epidemic still fresh, British authorities acted quickly to contain the disease.
An EU spokesman praised London’s rapid response.
The lifting of the ban will come as a huge relief to British farmers, some of whom are still trying to recover from the 2001 crisis.