The European Commission has agreed to bring in new controls on Brazilian beef imports from January 31st next. From that date, beef will only be allowed to be imported from an approved and restricted list of farms in Brazil which meet strict EU requirements. The decision follows the most recent visit to the South American country by the European Parliament’s Food and Veterinary Office, which identified serious failings in Brazil’s animal traceability and health controls. President of the Irish Farmers’ Association Padraig Walshe has welcomed the move as ‘a significant step forward’, and said it fully vindicates the IFA’s two-year campaign highlighting Brazil’s failure to meet EU standards. However he insisted that, ‘Only an outright ban will fully safeguard the European Union from the risk of foot-and-mouth disease from Brazilian beef imports.’ A statement issued by the European Commission says beef already in transit from Brazil will be allowed to enter the EU until March 15th next year. Under the new rules, animals on authorised farms in Brazil must have been kept in one of the EU-approved territories for at least 90 days, and must remain on the listed farm for at least 40 days prior to slaughter. EU inspectors will monitor the approved farms to verify that all import requirements continue to be met.