Commercial importers as well as travellers are now free to import their favourite steaks, bacon and pork sausages from the United Kingdom (UK).

This follows the lifting of a ban which was placed on these products in August of last year, in the wake on an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease there. The ban on beef and beef products, which has been in place since the early 1990s, has also been lifted.

According to Senior Veterinary Officer, Dr. Mark Trotman, Government has, with immediate effect, lifted the restrictions on the commercial importation of all live cattle, pigs, sheep, goats as well as meat and meat products derived from these animals.

This decision comes following a thorough investigation of the measures taken by the United Kingdom to mitigate the risk of transmission of the agent that causes Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy through meat from cattle raised in that country.

Importers may now apply to the Ministry of Agriculture?s Veterinary Services department for permits to import meat and meat products from the UK.

Dr. Trotman has, however, cautioned that: ?All commercial shipments of live animals and animal products must be accompanied by an Export Health Certificate issued by the UK?s Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)?.

Additionally, an import permit is also needed for personal (passenger) imports of meat and meat products and these products must be in their original packaging and bear an official inspection mark. Passengers must declare these items upon arrival and present them to the agricultural quarantine inspector for examination.

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