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Botswana resumes beef exports to the EU

Botswana has resumed beef exports to the European Union two months after suspending sales because of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease.
Dry aged beef products are displayed in an EDEKA supermarket in Berlin, Germany, August 9, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
Dry aged beef products are displayed in an EDEKA supermarket in Berlin, Germany, August 9, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

In August, Botswana suspended all live cattle and beef exports following an outbreak of foot and mouth in the northeast of the southern African country.

The ban was partially lifted in September, allowing exports from areas declared free of the disease, but sales to Europe, which has tougher import restrictions, remained suspended with government officials saying negotiations with the bloc were underway.

"Farmers and stakeholders are informed that exports of beef to the EU have resumed and are reminded of the usual requirements to be followed," a statement from Kefentse Motshegwa, the agriculture ministry's acting director of veterinary services, read.

Only cattle from seven of the country's 19 designated disease control zones will be allowed, and the animals will have to be placed in cattle holdings approved for EU exports for a period of 40 days before slaughter.

Along with South Africa and Namibia, Botswana is one of the biggest beef exporters to the EU, where it enjoys duty- and quota-free access.

Botswana also exports beef and live cattle to Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa.

About Brian Benza

Reporting by Brian Benza; Editing by Alexander Winning, Kirsten Donovan.

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