The European Union Standing Veterinary Committee (SVC) has approved a Commission proposal to lift measures applied in three provinces of Argentina following an outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

The import of fresh deboned and maturated bovine meat from the provinces of La Pampa and Santiago del Estero from cows slaughtered after 8 March 2002 and from the province of Cordoba from cows slaughtered after 26 March 2002 will get the green light.

Meanwhile, Botswana has reported an outbreak of foot and mouth in an area currently authorised to ship deboned and matured meat to the EU. Botswanian authorities swiftly moved to suspend exports and have taken the necessary measures to contain the spread of the disease.

As a result, the SVC has agreed to re-authorise imports from non-affected areas of Botswana from 7 March.