Today [Wednesday] saw the first shipments of British beef leave the UK for the EU since the foot and mouth crisis struck the UK 19 months ago.

The first carcasses for export left a processing facility in south Wales bound for the Netherlands. However, the BBC reported that the containers of meat were being labelled 'Welsh' instead of 'British' in a bid to deflect attention from the still stigmatised British beef. However, those who followed the outbreak closely will know that farms in Wales were as badly affected as those in other areas of Great Britain.

Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy described the deal as great news for the Welsh farming industry - and for Britain. "Not only is this the first export order of British beef since the foot and mouth outbreak," he said, "but it is also the first time that exported beef will bear the Welsh Beef logo".

The last confirmed case of foot-and-mouth was recorded on 20 September 2001. During the outbreak, six million animals were slaughtered and exports of British beef were banned.