Botswana resumes beef exports to EU

APA-Gaborone (Botswana)

Botswana has resumed exports of beef and related products to the European Union after suspending trade at the height of an outbreak of foot-and-month disease two months ago, the Ministry of Agriculture said Tuesday.

In a statement, acting veterinary services director in the ministry Kefentse Motshegwa said the exports would involve only cattle from seven of the country's 19 designated disease control zones while cattle from districts close to the epicentre of the outbreak would remain ineligible for sale to the EU.  

Motshegwa said cattle from eligible districts would be placed in holdings approved for EU exports for a period of 40 days before slaughter.

"Farmers and stakeholders are informed that exports of beef to the EU have resumed and are reminded of the usual requirements to be followed," the official said.

Botswana suspended exports of cattle and related meat products in August following a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in North East District close to the border with Zimbabwe. 

This saw exports of cloven hoof animals, beef, fresh meat and raw animal products being suspended, together with the movement and slaughter of cattle within the country to facilitate disease investigation.

Foot-and-mouth is a highly contagious viral disease that affects cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and other cloven-hoofed animals.

Botswana is one of the biggest beef exporters to the EU where it enjoys duty- and quota-free access. The country earned about US$20 million last year from beef exports to the EU. 


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