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EU To Ease British Beef Ban

May 27, 1998

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) _ The European Union said Wednesday it will ease the ban on British beef exports next week, allowing the export of Northern Ireland beef that is certified free of mad cow disease.

The decision by the EU’s executive commission cleared the way for the first exports of British beef in more than two years.

The 15-nation EU banned the exports in March 1996 over fears of a link between the mad cow disease plaguing British cattle and a fatal brain ailment in humans.

Wednesday’s action covered only meat from one slaughterhouse and from one meat-cutting plant in Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is the only part of Britain with a comprehensive, computerized cattle identification system.

Separately, the commission is preparing a proposal to allow the export of beef from British cattle born after Aug. 1, 1996.

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