Delay likely in sale of beef.
Beef from older cattle born before August 1, 1996 is unlikely to be sold on the commercial market before the end of this year, the National Beef Association say.
Keith Redpath, chairman of the NBA's export development committee, said: "The European Food Standards Authority (EFSA EFSA European Food Safety Authority
EFSA European Federation of Sea Anglers
EFSA European Food Safety Association ) has considered a number of issues relating to moderate risk BSE See Bombay Stock Exchange.
See Boston Stock Exchange (BSE). status in the UK, the recommencement Re`com`mence´ment
n. 1. A commencement made anew.
Noun 1. recommencement - beginning again
resumption of UK beef exports, and amendments to the Date Based Export Scheme (DBES DBES Date-Based Export Scheme (UK) ).
"However, it has decided to delay a public announcement on its decision until after the next meeting of its Biohazards Panel on April 21-22."
"This is because EFSA feels there is a need for more editorial work, perhaps to make sure its explanation is clearly understood.
"It has also made it clear that it will not comment on its decisions until they are placed on its website - which is likely to be sometime around April 30-May 2."
While the NBA is pleased that EFSA is actively considering the re-presentation of older UK beef to the commercial market it regrets that suckler cow owners will not now be able to take advantage of encouragingly strong demand for manufacturing beef until the beginning of next year.
"We know that cull cows in the Republic of Ireland are averaging almost 120p per dwkg, which is 21 pc dearer than a year ago, and the best beef cow types are making 140p," said Mr Redpath.
"However, a lift in domestic cull cow values is something that breeders can look forward to.
"Our own estimates are that, if the manufacturing beef market continues to reflect the increasing Europe-wide shortfall in supply, then the depreciation cost on a suckler will soon fall by pounds 40 a year to just pounds 20."
He added: "From our point of view, the quicker beef from older cattle moves back on to the market the better.
"We are frustrated by continued delays within the Department of Health which has still to confirm the favourable risk analysis presented by our own Food Standards Agency The Food Standards Agency is a non-ministerial government department of the Government of the United Kingdom. It is responsible for protecting public health in relation to food throughout the United Kingdom and is led by an appointed board that is intended to act in the public almost a year ago."
Mr Redpath said the Food Standards Agency's "reluctance" to come to a decision is even more difficult to understand now that the French Food Standards Agency has agreed there is no greater risk from beef taken from UK cattle born after 1-8-96 than there is for similarly aged cattle born and reared in France. This is as long as all brains are tested for BSE before the carcase is released into the food chain.