EU meat exports could be hit by veterinary checks

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Meat exports from the UK to the EU post-Brexit could be subject to veterinary checks
Meat exports from the UK to the EU post-Brexit could be subject to veterinary checks

Related tags: Eu member states, United kingdom, European union, Eu

The threat of having to deal with veterinary clearance and checks on exports to the EU post-Brexit should be a “priority” concern for the meat industry, a leading meat association boss has claimed.

While much has been made of the potential for boosting meat sales to new markets when the UK leaves the EU, failure to gain export certificates to EU Member States would significantly hinder sales.

As a consequence, it was an issue that needed to be addressed before anything else, argued Liz Murphy, chief executive at the London-based International Meat Trade Association.

Murphy was addressing delegates at last month’s Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum keynote seminar in London on policy priorities for the UK food and drink industry – competitiveness, skills and access to export markets.

‘Dependent on the Government’

“There’s been a lot of talk about meat promotion, but a priority for us is that the meat sector is dependent on the Government to open the veterinary door,”​ said Murphy.

“For many countries, and certainly the key markets, if we have no export certificate we don’t have a possibility of exporting.”

Meanwhile, the threat of animal disease outbreaks was a key concern for those UK meat producers land processors looking to increase exports outside the EU, Murphy claimed.

“Although we’ve had our moments with other EU Member States, on balance in the event of an outbreak, being within the EU enables us to maintain access to a major market,”​ she explained.

“The poultry sector has been affected by avian influenza, which is something we are likely to have to live with in the future.

‘Trade with minimum disruption’

“While still in the EU, we can continue to trade with minimum disruption – but such an event can cause us great difficulties with other major markets.

Murphy cited the example of South Africa, which is the UK’s top export market for poultry meat after the EU – but also one that had been closed to the UK since an avian influenza outbreak in 2017.

“We’ll be interested to see whether the UK government, in the future, might be prepared to look at how the US managed to gain entry back into the market,”​ Murphy suggested.

Despite the opportunities around new markets, Murphy reminded delegates that more than 90% of exports across five key product categories currently went to other EU countries.

However, for red meat offal exports, that proportion was just 36%.

“Obviously, the EU is nearer to home, so there’s less cost in delivery,”​ she explained. “But it is particularly those lower value products that we need to find a market for elsewhere.”

Related news

Show more


Post your comment

We will not publish your email address on the website

These comments have not been moderated. You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment. Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments. If you wish to complain about a comment please use the "REPORT ABUSE" button or contact the editors.

Follow us

Featured Events

View more


View more