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EU delegation inspects Brazilian cattle farms

A delegation of veterinarians from the EU began inspecting cattle farms in Brazil to examine the sanitary and tracking conditions of the production process of beef exported to the bloc.

The Brazilian government expected the visit, which will last through March 14, could help resume the exports of beef to the EU countries, which was suspended on February 1.

The embargo has caused Brazil $3 million in losses per day, according to Brazilian Minister of Agriculture Reinhold Stephanes.

The EU demanded that Brazil present a list with a maximum of 300 farms that would be eligible to export beef. Initially the Brazilian authorities insisted on a bigger number of farms, but eventually bent down and came up with a list with 270 farms.

The European vets will examine the operation of Sisbov (Brazilian System of Identification and Certification of Origin for Bovine and Buffalo) and will visit the farms enlisted by Brazil.

Controversy was aroused when Minister Stephanes admitted to the National Congress last week that local slaughterhouses had exported uninspected beef to the EU, which weakened Brazilian exporters in their pleas to include more farms in the list.

The so-called “ruralist group” in the Congress, composed of federal deputies that favor the interests of the country's farmers, proposed a bill setting up new rules for Sisbov and asked for suspension of bilateral agreements with the EU as the embargo lasts, for they believed that the EU is building obstacles in order to defend their own interests in beef production. (Xinhua)