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Botswana Resumes Beef Exports

FILE - A butcher cuts a cows head at the early morning market
FILE - A butcher cuts a cows head at the early morning market

Senior Botswana government officials Wednesday confirmed that the southern African nation has resumed exports of live cattle and beef from areas declared free of foot and mouth disease, however sales to Europe remain suspended.

Botswana officials say the resumption of exports of beef and live cattle will commence in neighboring Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and South Africa, however add, the southern African nation currently cannot cash in on its status of being one of the biggest beef exporters to the European Union, where it enjoys duty- and quota-free access.

Kefentse Motshwegwa, Botswana’s Acting Director of Veterinary Services notes the suspension of sales to the EU, however, emphasizes that there are negotiations that will witness the resumption of exports to Europe.

“Following an outbreak, there are specific processes to be implemented and arrangements that must be negotiated with EU before exports are resumed,” said Motshwegwa, adding, “This process is ongoing.”

Botswana suspended beef exports in August after reports of a foot and mouth disease outbreak in one of its disease control zones in the northeast region of the southern African nation.

Officials say the slaughter of cloven-hoofed animals from the zone remains suspended however sales from the rest of the country have resumed but are “subject to conditions set by importing countries.”