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Scotland granted lowest risk status for BSE

Farmers are paid based on the EUROP grid
Farmers are paid based on the EUROP grid

The Scottish beef industry received a welcome boost today with news the country’s Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) status has been reduced to the lowest risk level available.

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has ruled that the BSE risk from beef raised in Scotland and Northern Ireland is at the safest level available – negilgible risk – while beef from England and Wales continues to be recognised as having controlled risk BSE status.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said it was a “landmark day” for the red meat sector.

He said the new status would help open international market access for Scottish beef exports outside of the EU.

“This is reward for years of hard work from the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW), producers, our red meat businesses, vets, and this government all of whom have worked tirelessly to build a failsafe system which protects our animal and public health,” added Mr Ewing.

“Scotland’s meat exports are currently thriving and this certification stands us in good stead for our exporters to increase Scottish beef exports even further.”

SAMW president, Frank Clark, said the new risk status was the culmination of two years’ hard work in Edinburgh, London and Brussels.

He praised Mr Ewing’s support and said it had been invaluable during the process.

“Member businesses are now working hard to ensure full benefit is secured from Scotland’s newly gained status, exploring new by-product opportunities in order to return maximum value to the sector,” added Mr Clark.

“This is a major advance for our industry and a boost for member companies as they seek to increase business strength and capacity as we negotiate Brexit and the potential new trading opportunities of the future.”

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