Reforms are being made to the agricultural trade agreement between Switzerland and the European Union (EU), to ensure that Swiss regulations controlling the spread of BSE are recognised by all EU Member States.

At the moment, that is not the case, leading to import restrictions by various EU countries on Swiss beef. The country has had around 400 cases of BSE, higher than many European countries, leading it to introduce strict meat and bonemeal feed controls.

Under the new proposals, detailed EU and Swiss legislation on the trade in live animals, semen, ova and embryos will be inserted into the agricultural agreement, prompting the removal of import controls.