Portugal has failed to force the European Commission to lift beef and cattle export restrictions imposed in 1999, following its BSE outbreak. Lisbon tried to persuade the European Court of Justice that the Commission had wrongfully ignored risk management improvements, broken international animal health guidelines and had made procedural errors. Judges dismissed the claims, ordering Portugal to pay legal costs. The restrictions – which are now gradually being lifted – will remain.

By Keith Nuthall, just-food.com correspondent