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China lifts ban on UK beef imports

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By Matthew Limb

UK veterinary leaders have welcomed China lifting its longstanding ban on UK beef imports as a significant vote of confidence in the UK farming industry.

But there are warnings the move could prove futile unless the UK can strike effective trade deals and recruit enough vets to meet the expected extra demand for export certification.

The Chinese government’s decision comes more than 20 years after it imposed a ban on British beef in the wake of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) outbreak.

It follows several years of site inspections and negotiations between UK and Chinese government officials over improving trade.

Market access negotiations can now begin, although such a process could take around three years to complete.

This development comes at a time of deep uncertainty over veterinary workforce capacity in the UK as the country …

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