ARCHIVE: International trade: beef and cattle exports
On 8 March 2006, EU Member States in the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health unanimously approved a proposal for a new piece of EU legislation to lift the ban on the export of cattle and to relax the restrictions on the export of beef and certain other bovine products from the UK. These export restrictions/controls were originally imposed on the UK by Commission Decision 96/239/EC, of 27 March 1996, and later extended by Council Decision 98/256/EC, of 16 March 1998. The new legislation was published in the EU Official Journal on 29 April 2006 as Commission Regulation (EC) No 657/2006, and came into force in the EU on 2 May.
Commission Regulation (EC) No 657/2006 was implemented in England By the Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (No. 2) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006 No. 1228) on 3 May 2006. Equivalent legislation exists in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
As of 3 May 2006, it is possible to legally export live cattle, beef and other previously restricted bovine products from the UK in line with other countries in the EU.
These new regulations still impose some minor export restrictions on the UK. The following commodities cannot be exported from the UK to any other country:
- Bovine animals born or reared in the United Kingdom before 1 August 1996
- Meat or products derived from bovine animals born or reared in the United Kingdom after 31 July 1996 and slaughtered before 15 June 2005
- Vertebral column from bovine animals born or reared in the United Kingdom after 31 July 1996 and slaughtered before 2 May 2006 and products derived from such vertebral column
The following commodities cannot be exported from the UK to any country outside the EU:
- Heads or fresh meat of bovine, ovine or caprine animals containing specified risk material
The Animal Health will conduct random checks of export paperwork at ports, airports and elsewhere to ensure compliance with these regulations.
As with any export, exporters are responsible for ensuring that any
cattle or bovine products they dispatch from the UK comply with any relevant
EU rules as well as any additional
requirements laid down by destination countries outside the EU.
In the case of cattle and bovine products, this includes tracing back to the farms of origin, processing plants and suppliers to confirm that the consignment complies with the requirements above.
Further information is available for those wishing to export live cattle (a revised leaflet will be available here shortly). Exporters are strongly advised to make sure that they read and understand this guidance before making any commitment to export.
In addition, exporters of beef and beef products are reminded of the requirements of the beef labelling rules.
Page last modified:
September 8, 2009
Page published: December 18, 2006