Zimbabwe shelves beef export plans

Zimbabwe shelves beef export plans

Zimbabwe has shelved plans to resume beef exports to the European Union after Brussels introduced stringent pre-export requirements.

Stuart Hargreaves, veterinary services principal director, said that one of the major problems Zimbabwe has is that the EU wants all the cattle in the country to be identified to the farm and dipping tank of origin through ear-tagging.

He said ear-tagging would be "too costly" with the country reeling under economic crises.

That’s why any plans of exporting have been shelved because ear-tagging is too expensive for the country.

Zimbabwe stopped beef exports to Europe and Asia in 2001 after an outbreak of the deadly foot-and-mouth disease, but continued sales to neighbouring countries.

It used to export about 9,000 tonnes of beef a year to Europe but production has taken a battering with Zimbabwe's commercial herd decreasing from 1.5 million at its peak to 250,000 in recent years, according to official figures.

Source: South African Meat Industry Company (SAMIC)