Brazil Visit Triggers FMD Fears

The Journal (Newcastle, England), June 6, 2006 | Go to article overview

Brazil Visit Triggers FMD Fears


Byline: By Anna Lognonne

Leading figures in the North NFU have warned that beef imports from Brazil could cause another outbreak of foot-and-mouth in the region.

Cumbrian livestock farmer Thomas Binns, chairman of the NFU Livestock Board and his vice- chairman Malcolm Corbett, from Rochester, demanded tighter controls.

The call followed an undercover investigation of Brazilian beef farms by two Irish farmers and a newspaper reporter revealed foot-and-mouth controls there were inadequate and data on animal movements non-existent.

Mr Corbett, who runs a hill farm with sheep and cattle, said: "Foot-and-mouth started and ended in this area and it was a complete disaster for the region's livestock farmers.

"The disease has to come into this country and we feel that we are taking a big risk importing meat from a country which has foot-and-mouth.

"I know Brazil is a big country and there are some areas that do not have FMD, but this report shows that farmers in the diseased areas do not have any sort of traceability measures in place and the FMD controls are completely inadequate.

"The USA, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea have all banned Brazilian beef because of the FMD risk it poses, yet the European Union hasn't.

"As far as UK farmers are concerned, this is not acceptable.

"Also, Defra has said that farmers will have to meet the costs of any future disease outbreak, but I don't see why we should accept responsibility when we have no control over what comes into this country.

"It is the Government's responsibility to control the risks and that's why we are asking them to review the situation."

Irish Farmers' Association chairman John Bryan and IFA livestock director Kevin Kinsella travelled to Brazil last September to look at how Brazilian beef farms operated. …

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