The European Commission’s Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health will only allow Brazilian beef into the EU from a list of approved Brazilian beef operations. The animals from those operations must be identified, registered and kept in an EU-approved area for at least 90 days. Shipments of de-boned and mature beef certified and sent before January 31 will be allowed to enter the EU until March 15.
The EU decided the measures were necessary after inspections in November found Brazil’s animal health and traceability systems failed to meet EU requirements on farm registration, animal identification and movement controls. The Irish Farmers’ Association has long been campaigning for restrictions, citing concerns about foot and mouth disease.
Last month, Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture added the state of Mato Grosso do Sul to its list of 13 states recognized as ‘areas free of foot-and-mouth disease with vaccination program.’ Also last month, Russia re-opened its borders to Brazilian beef with special labeling.
Brazil is the world’s largest beef exporter. The EU imported about 520,000 metric tons of beef in 2005, of which 350,000 metric tons came from Brazil.