UK cattle producers have said they are hoping that exports of British beef and cattle will increase next year as the industry recovers from the devastating effects of mad cow disease.

“It took a sustained period to restore confidence (in export markets),” Roy McHattie, chief executive of the Aberdeen-Angus Society, told Reuters at the Royal Highland Show on the outskirts of Edinburgh, Scotland.

McHattie said the industry hopes to see foreign countries begin easing restrictions on imports of British beef in 2005.

John Fleming, secretary of the British Belgian Blue Cattle Society said there had been talk of trade barriers coming down in the autumn or next spring, reported Reuters.

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