The NFU yesterday expressed its exasperation and anger that yet another consignment of European beef with banned spinal cord has been discovered in Britain.

NFU President Ben Gill said: "This situation is fast reaching farcical proportions. For years other European countries have been preaching to us - now they cannot seem to enforce the controls we have long had in place."

Spinal cord - banned under EU BSE regulations - was found in a consignment of Spanish beef at a cutting plant in Lancashire on Friday.

Two German abattoirs and a Dutch plant have already had their licenses suspended following NFU calls after beef with spinal cord was found in recent weeks.

Mr Gill said: "Exports of beef from countries which cannot enforce the BSE regulations must be banned by the European Commission. It is as simple as that.

"British farmers cannot sit back and accept sub-standard imports, especially with the hell they are going through right now on foot and mouth disease.

"It is only down to the Food Standards Agency and the stringent protection measures that have been implemented that these imports have been intercepted. The situation is untenable - we are constantly waiting to hear when this will happen next."

Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided in this document, the NFU cannot accept liability for errors and omissions.  This information should not be regarded as constituting legal advice, and should therefore not be relied upon as such.  NFU©