Monday, November 23, 1998 Published at 15:57 GMT
A timeline of the key dates in the BSE crisis and the efforts made to resume beef exports.
July 1988 - Ban on feed derived from protein introduced.
August 1988 - Decision to slaughter all BSE-affected cattle.
February 1989 - Government bans beef offal from baby foods.
March 1990 - EC restricts exports of cattle to those under six months.
September 1990 Ban on using cow brains and spinal cords in Animal feed.
July 1993 - 100,000th case of BSE in Britain.
1995 - First deaths from new variant CJD.
December 1995 - Ban on using mechanically recovered meat for human consumption.
27 March 1996 - EC announces worldwide export ban on all British beef.
21 May 1996 - UK begins policy of non co-operation with EU partners until ban is lifted.
24 May 1996 - The UK applies to the European Court of Justice to have the ban overturned.
12 June 1996 - UK proposes phased lifting of ban, including exemption of cattle from herds certified as never having had BSE.
December 1996 - Britain announces that the backlog of animals waiting to be slaughtered under the Over Thirty Month Scheme is cleared. Proposals for a certified heads scheme are announced. The selective cull of cattle most at risk of BSE is announced which means that the UK has acted on all five pre-conditions of the Florence Agreement.
May 1997 - Government says it may ban imports of beef from Germany and other EU countries which do not observe Britain's strict abattoir hygiene controls.
30 September 1997 - The Advocate General says the EU beef ban was lawful and on 5 May 1998 the ECJ upheld its validity. Although a ruling on the vailidity of the ban was still nine months away, the UK concentrates its efforts on lifting the ban through negotiation and agreement with EU partners.
2 October 1997 - A proposal for a UK Date Based Export Scheme is submitted to the European Commission along with a paper giving the scientific rationale for the proposal. The proposal includes plans for the compulsory slaughter of all offspring born to BSE infected cows on or after 1 August 1996.
December 1997 - Government announces one-off compensation of £85m to beef farmers.
January 1998 - A £2m marketing campaign is launched to attempt to restore confidence in British beef. The EU makes a financial contribution to the scheme.
February 1998 - Government bans sale of beef on the bone.
16 March 1998 - EU vets approve the removal of the ban on British beef exports from certified heads in Northern Ireland. The decision is later ratified by the EC.
1 June 1998 - Northern Ireland farmers resume exports - the first time UK beef has been sold abroad since March 1996.
28 September 1998 - Although not a pre-requisite of the Florence Agreement, a computerised cattle traceability system is introduced to the UK. It holds details of all cattle registgered or imported into the country.
28 October 1998 - An amended proposal is accepted which was voted on by the Standing Veterinary Committee on 4 November 1998. The proposal was due to be tabled at the November Agricultural Council for discussion and a vote.
23 November 1998- European Union farm ministers lift the 32-month ban on the export of beef from the UK. Resumption of exports is expected in March 1999.