August 24, 2007
August 24, 2007 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced that effective Monday, Aug. 20, it is lifting trade restrictions imposed on Northern Ireland after foot and mouth disease (FMD) was detected in Surrey, England, on Aug. 3.
Since that time, Northern Ireland has provided information to APHIS documenting that officials took immediate steps to close borders and prevent the introduction of FMD. Based on this information, APHIS is confident that Northern Ireland is FMD-free and that trade can safely resume. Trade restrictions remain in place for the rest of the United Kingdom.
The European Union (EU) has lifted its embargo on British meat exports. A group of veterinary experts representing the EU's 27 member countries supported a European Commission proposal to confine export restrictions to a roughly 6-mile radius around Surrey, Reuters reported.
"This means that exports of live animals, meat and dairy products will be able to resume from the territory of Great Britain (GB), apart from the [six-mile] zone in the county of Surrey," the commission said.
The decision takes effect Saturday, Aug. 25, and officials expect the country to resume exports early next week.
GB's chief veterinary officer, Debby Reynolds, indicated that it would be a while before exports to third country markets could resume, however, with full foot and mouth free status not being granted until the beginning of November at the earliest.