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Sunday, 25 November, 2001, 12:58 GMT
Welsh lamb exports to resume
A Welsh sheep flock
Welsh sheep farmers can resume lamb exports
The first exports of Welsh Lamb to Europe in almost a year are to start this weekend.

The livestock company Farmers Ferry is expected to resume sailings of Welsh lamb carcasses to France by Sunday evening.

And two abattoirs, one in mid Wales and the other in north Wales, are to start processing the meat for orders which are to be dispatched from Tuesday morning.
Welsh lamb
The Welsh lamb business is worth up to 100m

The resumption of lamb exports has been hailed by the Farmers Union of Wales as the start of a return of normal life for farmers.

Farmers Ferry's chairman Terry Bayliss, who is also a vice-president of the FUW, was upbeat about the prospects of Welsh farmers being able to rebuild their lost sales to Europe.

He said: "There is a very strong demand for UK stock."

"As livestock movements are gradually lifted we expect we will see a very good trade.

"There is interest in the product from all over the Continent where they are desperate for our lamb."

Eifion Huws, Anglesey county branch chairman of the Farmers' Union of Wales, said: "Lamb exports represent a huge and valuable market for Wales and this will have a very positive effect on the meat industry."
A Welsh sheep farm
Business as usual on many sheep farms

The Llanybydder abattoir, Oriel Jones and Son Ltd, has an order for Welsh lamb to be exported to France.

The order is to be processed at the plant on Monday for departure on Tuesday morning.

A second order to France is on the books for Wednesday and a third, to Spain, is earmarked for Friday 30 November.

Also on Monday, the Owen G Owen abattoir at St Asaph plans to slaughter up to 1,400 lambs for export from areas that have not had foot-and-mouth disease, such as Clwyd and Tywyn and Dolgellau in Meirionnydd.

"They will be coming to us from 12-14 farms and the carcasses will be exported to France and Belgium where
A sheep flock
Welsh lamb is sought after in France and Spain
demand is particularly high," said the abattoir's procurement manager David Kelsall.

The ban on beef exports from counties which have never had foot-and-mouth disease was lifted a month ago but the date from which it takes effect is yet to be confirmed.

The European export market for branded Welsh lamb and beef is worth 100m a year in sales.

BBC Wales's Nia Thomas reports
"It's a lucrative market in southern Europe."
See also:

29 Oct 01 | England
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