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Gaborone Cleared to Export Beef after Health Scare

Botswana has resumed exports of live cattle and beef from areas declared free of foot-and-mouth disease but sales to Europe, which has tougher import restrictions, remain suspended. In August, Botswana suspended beef exports following an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in one of its disease control zones in the northeast. The slaughter of cloven-hoofed animals from the zone remains suspended but sales and exports from the rest of the country have opened up again, subject to conditions set by importing countries. Apart from the EU, Botswana exports beef and live cattle to SA, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. SA also is affected by sporadic outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease. Kefentse Motshegwa, acting director of Veterinary Services, said sales to the EU and Britain remain suspended with negotiations to reopen exports under way. Along with SA and Namibia, Botswana is one of the biggest beef exporters to the EU, where it enjoys duty- and quota-free access but where it saw export earnings drop from $130m in 2010 to $20m in 2020, according to central bank statistics.