Beef crisis

Sign found in Ireland as a result of the crisis (Photo: Lisbeth Kirk)

Beef crisis

In 1996 a link was found between Mad Cow Disease (BSE) and its human form Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease (CJD).

As a consequence the EU banned British beef exports until 1999. But while other EU countries lifted their bans on UK beef and resumed imports, France and Germany refused to do so.

Finally an agreement, the "protocol of understanding", was signed. The French Government agreed to lift the ban and the UK accepted the development of new test projects as a symbolic concession to the French.

The European Parliament set up an inquiry committee on BSE and found that there had been mismanagement in coping with the disease.