Partly due to efforts of Scottish Cabinet Secretary, Scottish beef exports now officially BSE risk free. English beef up for review in 2020


Scottish beef can now be sold anywhere globally after the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) recognises the BSE risk from beef raised in Scotland is at the safest level available – negligible risk. England and Welsh beef remains at controlled risk BSE status and will not be reviewed before 2020.

Rural Secretary Fergus Ewing who was applauded by the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers for his help with the bid for approval, said:

‘This is reward for years of hard work from the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers, producers, our red meat businesses, vets, and this government all of whom have worked tirelessly to build a failsafe system which protects our animal and public health. Scotland’s meat exports are currently thriving and this certification stands us in good stead for our exporters to increase Scottish Beef exports even further.’

The president of the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW) described the work of Fergus Ewing and his staff as ‘invaluable’.

Here’s some background to the story I wrote earlier in the year.

Some readers may remember how BSE started. If not see this from Frederick A. Murphy, DVM, PhD, Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California in

‘In the early 1980s in England the rendering process (by which livestock carcasses are converted to various products, including protein supplements for livestock feed) was changed. Earlier, a solvent extraction step had been used to extract fats (tallow); this step was stopped when the price of the petroleum-based solvents used to extract fats went up. The infectious agent is solvent-sensitive. Otherwise, the infectious agent is extremely hardy — it can survive boiling and many disinfectants, but is readily destroyed by extremely high temperature (such as in an autoclave), or by oxidizing agents, or by solvents.’


25 thoughts on “Partly due to efforts of Scottish Cabinet Secretary, Scottish beef exports now officially BSE risk free. English beef up for review in 2020

  1. Ludo Thierry July 27, 2017 / 6:23 pm

    Ye Gods Prof you’ve been busy again today – Beef exports, shale gas/oil industry news and Social Housing – Big thanks, again, for keeping us so well informed.

    I really do think this site and others has had an impact on BBC website editorial policy. Not that the ‘SNP Bad’ headlines and articles don’t appear – they do – but generally a bit toned-down (compared to the broadcast material) and sometimes (I feel increasingly – but I can’t stand that statement up in any way) they also carry some fairly objectively reported articles with neutral headlines.

    In the Scottish Business section today I noticed a headline ‘Austerity to blame for insolvency rise’ – The article carried info re. personal insovency rise but reported comments from the relevant SNP Govt Minister (Paul Wheelhouse) giving contextual info re. impact of austerity and the loger term trend being in the right direction. There was a quote from Murdo Fraser complaining re. a non-existent “..Tax hike..” in Scotland (poor chap seems to be hearing voices I suspect).

    Buried right at the end was another significant piece of evidence re. the apparent robustness being shown by the Scottish economy. The body which administers the process of bankruptcy and records corporate insolvencies is called Accountant in Insolvency (amazing what you start learning as you delve into this stuff). Anyway, the article reports: “The latest AiB figures also showed a sharp drop in the number of Scottish businesses becoming insolvent or entering receivership. In the last quarter there were 200 corporate insolvencies – a drop of 24.5%. The figure included 118 compulsory liquidations and 82 creditor voluntary liquidations.”

    ( Now – I’m no journalist but I could see a relevant headline there along lines of – ‘Significant drop in Scottish business insolvencies recorded’ – but I reckon the Beeb aren’t about to offer me a sub-editor post any time soon!)

    Given we’re on the Beef Export article here can I salute the SNP Scottish Govt? Brilliant work by Fergus Ewing, the SNP Scottish Govt and relevant partners in getting the case for Scottish Beef heard properly at the OIE and hats off to OIE for judging on the evidence and awarding Scottish Beef the top rating.

    On the topic of Scottish food exports – Whilst on the Beeb website I was directed to an article from the Evening Express: ‘Historic Aberdeen Smokehouse Bought By Estonian Firm In £13 Million Deal’ – the Scottish company John Ross Jnr (Aberdeen) is now within the PRFoods umbrella and looks forward to continuing its impressive export performance. Now – isn’t it strange that Estonia – a small northern european nation state (which fairly recently regained its independent statehood) has world leading companies which are able to expand and make major acquisitions to build their trading portfolio? What happened to all that stuff about needing the ‘broad shoulders’ of a large ‘Union’ state or else finding yourself heading back to the barter economy? Try telling that to the Estonians!!

    Last one – I promise. I also noticed on Beeb site that Ali Smith has been Booker nominated for ‘Autumn’ (well done Ali – and here’s hoping you go all the way to the prize). I found the article in the Highland section – but it barely mentioned Ali but gave longish info on various other contenders – quite curious really!

    Enough already – If I’m boring people to death please skip over my posts! – Cheers, Ludo


    • johnrobertson834 July 28, 2017 / 8:41 am

      Do you think I have an impact on the BBC? Hmmm. Is it more they know they can tell the RepScot folk what they like but the web-users are more savvy?


  2. Contrary July 27, 2017 / 7:03 pm

    Not at all, Ludo, your posts are great, always good to hear summaries of what you have read. You should try going on to wings over Scotland and following links the commenters often post, particularly ‘nana’, who posts in the morning usually – a ton of various reading material! (I’ve been lazy lately, and just let John give me my news mostly – though a bit huffy right now he didn’t pick up on my subtle hint that I wanted a good news story about bumblebees).

    I heard a very sensible woman, from friends of the earth, on radio this morning, regarding the electric-car-only introduction in 2040 – she said we need the infrastructure and an integrated transport policy to make it work. Good, let’s be pragmatic. She was a bit weak on what to do about the countryside though. Wonder if you could have a local wind turbine to each charging site, up on those desolate moors??

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Contrary July 27, 2017 / 9:20 pm

    I mean, big smelly cows? Who cares about them? Bumblebees are cute and fluffy, and they keep our whole ecology ticking along, bees will save the world. Cows pollute the environment, bumblebees enhance it.

    Though, I admit, cows are tastier. I bet more people would read a blog post about bumblebees than they would about cows, though. I wonder if Kezia supports saving bees?

    Bumblebees are dying out worldwide, you know, and once they’re gone, they’re gone,,, and in the bleak near-future,,, there will be nothing but seagulls and piles of decaying rubbish, without bumblebees. We will have to relocate to a different planet. In the bright near-future the independent Scottish healthy & happy bumblebees can be sold to countries all round the world for a small fortune.


      • Contrary July 28, 2017 / 4:35 pm

        I’ve just spotted this comment John! You are NOT taking bumblebees seriously! I will send you my bumblebee photo collection if you continue to insist on this flippancy.

        And if you don’t feel that is a big-enough threat, you want to see the size of my fungi photo collection, which will be used as the next serious warning escalation.

        In fact, you might get my Hadrian’s Wall collection before that – or would that come as a final warning? Old stones,,, lots of old stones and a few ditches … or fungi. Hmm. I’ll have to think on that. Either will do!!


  4. Clydebuilt July 27, 2017 / 9:54 pm

    Will the control the Scottish Givernment have over Farming enabling Scottish beef to be deemed BSE free years before the rest of the UK be diminished / removed by the Tories during the Brexir process.


    • Contrary July 28, 2017 / 7:31 am

      Clydebuilt: Yes.

      What about bumblebees though? No opinions?


      • Clydebuilt July 28, 2017 / 8:35 am

        Absolutely, they are essential. Plenty of opinions, too little time.


      • Clydebuilt July 28, 2017 / 2:41 pm



      • johnrobertson834 July 29, 2017 / 1:41 pm

        Sorry Contrary. I’m suitably admonished by your stinging riposte. I can’t help it! You have bits of Hadrian’s wall? Isn’t that theft? I won’t tell.


      • Contrary July 29, 2017 / 10:48 pm

        ‘Stinging riposte’ : I saw what you did there! Bumblebees don’t sting you, they are fluffy and friendly. Well, sort of friendly, more,,, ignore you, but in a friendly way, busy, buzzing.

        Now, here is an interesting fact, the buzzing is actually the noise from their legs (yup, not the wings), to stimulate the flower to give up some nectar in exchange for doing the pollinating thing. Pretty sure that’s right, writing from memory,,, which can be a bit hazy at times.


  5. Contrary July 28, 2017 / 4:27 pm

    Hmmm. Well, as long as you all appreciate bumblebees, I guess I’ll be happy with this level of bumblebee engagement … doesn’t look like its gonna get any better than some background buzzing.

    Brexit: I think that Clydebuilt’s comment was actually a rhetorical question, that I answered just so I could try for some bumblebee support (you have to try!). But really, I can’t see how westminster would ever consider not selling out anything scottish? It’s been a long day and there is a complex double-negative in there, can someone else check it for me please?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clydebuilt July 28, 2017 / 8:50 pm

      Contrary . . . . You’re a Star . . . When you get you’re double negatives sorted out, could you sort out my punctuation….. it’s rubbish.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Contrary July 28, 2017 / 10:34 pm


        Liked by 1 person

  6. Ludo Thierry July 28, 2017 / 6:01 pm

    Hi Prof – hi all – Sorry to contradict Contrary (did you see what I did there?!) but I’m not so sure that Clydebuilt’s question was rhetorical at all.

    I fear Clydebuilt may have pin-pointed something very important here. I’m pretty positive I have heard Fluffy Mundell and other Tory govt ministers indicate that the reason that all the various Farming and Fisheries responsibilities which lie with Brussels will be returned to London post-brexit -(before re-distribution to the devolved Scottish Parlt. and Welsh and N.Irish Assemblies as decided fit bt Tory govt -) is that the Westminster govt wants to see how these powers impact on the international trade agreements they want to negotiate. Strikes me that Clydebuilt has a point – and that Scotland’s ability to negotiate directly with international bodies such as OiE would indeed be under threat.

    If there are any SNP MPs who read this blog (as there blinking well ought to be!!) I suggest a question to PM on this issue is very much in order.

    Thanks, ludo


    • Clydebuilt July 28, 2017 / 8:55 pm

      I can see “Scotland The Brand” disappearing the excuse will be the need to create a single UK market. Roundabout this time Scotland will be back in its box.
      Job done.


    • johnrobertson834 July 29, 2017 / 1:44 pm

      I saw what you did. One of my weaknesses too that kind of thing. See my comments today on BBC Scotland’s ‘mean-spirited’ news as they get a distlllery nearby.


  7. Contrary July 28, 2017 / 10:58 pm

    You are supposed to counterpoint [bleak near-future] with [sunny near-future], Clydebuilt. Well, when I say ‘supposed to’, I mean I have just made it up, because I’ve decided it’s a good idea. I will be petitioning John to make it a rule though. (and you have seen how well my petitioning works! Ref. Bumblebees).

    Will Scotland ever go back in its box though? I don’t know it will fit back in any more. I mean, nearly 50% of the population now think they are worth it – the cumulative effect of even a small inflation of ego will add a pretty large volume – and, even though I would never expect or want intervention from outside our isles, the Scotland thing has been taken abroad – various SNP politicians explaining who Scotland is and its relationship within the union (WE know, the rest of he world didn’t), in Europe, in America, getting involved in UN resolutions (women negotiating for peace) despite not being allowed a seat at the UN – that squeezes the sides of the box. Really don’t think they’ll be getting the lid back on this time. Maybe if they try sneaky clever things it might happen, but the usual, repetitive, brute force and ignorance way isn’t going to cut it.


    • johnrobertson834 July 29, 2017 / 1:48 pm

      Agreed, well out of the box noo and too big for our ……oh. As for rules. I’m a former teacher and well sick of rules and rulers now so no ye cannae! Is that then a rule? Oh shit I give up. I’ve got a thing about rulers. As a left-hander in the later 50s I couldn’t write with pen and ink without smudging and Ms Peattie used to hit me with her ruler. Biros changed my life.


  8. Contrary July 29, 2017 / 11:03 pm

    I agree with you about rules John, they should only be applied when absolutely necessary, and certainly not used to stifle anyone’s artistic expression (in the form of comment in this case).

    Ah yes, the ruler rapped over the knuckles, had plenty of that at primary school, for chatting. None of those weakling bendy plastic rulers either, she used those solid wood ones. It was taking it too far knocking – my & my fellow conspirator in chatting – heads together a couple of times. I still remember the fun day we had with Mrs Sibbald when someone dared to place a dead wasp on top of her head – she had a neat, large, beehive (hairdo, I’m sure you remember them), so didn’t find it all day. Much hilarity from her charges, and no real harm done. Unbelievable amount of discrimination, and some amount of harm, to left-handers in the old days eh? Aye, things have improved vastly for children these last few decades, and quite rightly to.


  9. johnrobertson834 July 30, 2017 / 10:37 am

    I’m a leftie too as was my dad who had his hand tied behind the chair until my grandad had wee word.


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