EU veterinary experts have agreed to lift the ban on live pig exports from Essex on 15 September.

A large-scale blockade had been put in place after an outbreak of Classical Swine Fever was detected at the beginning of August, but within a week the bans were restricted to contaminated areas. Similar bans in Suffolk and Norfolk are still in place, although a second proposal will now allow the slaughter of pigs in the district of Old Buckenham in Norfolk.

The experts discussed the trade restrictions in Brussels and the decision comes as a surprise after a new case of CSF was confirmed yesterday. The concessions are believed to display the confidence of the EU in the efforts made by UK farmers to restrict the spread of the disease, especially in the light of an announcement by EU officials that “it is expected that further disease outbreaks will be reported in the coming days.”

Rigorous controls will still be in place, but EU experts added that the move “should encourage British pig farmers to continue their co-operation with the veterinary authorities to successfully eradicate the disease as quickly as possible.”