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Brexit could hit European sheep breeders: EU lawmaker

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-07-02 21:58

SOFIA - Bulgarian member of the European Parliament (MEP) Momchil Nekov said here on Monday that Britain's exit from the European Union (EU) could negatively affect European sheep breeders.

Currently, Britain was the main EU gateway for imports of sheep meat from New Zealand and Australia, Nekov said during a roundtable discussion.

The EU has granted New Zealand a yearly quota for imports of 287,000 tonnes carcass weight equivalent for sheep meat, around 75 percent of which was used up on average, with around 48 percent going to Britain, Nekov said.

Meanwhile, Australia's quota for imports of sheep meat granted by the EU was 19,200 tonnes carcass weight equivalent, almost 100 percent of which was used up on average, with around 75 percent going to the UK, Nekov said.

In relation to Brexit, these quotas needed to be renegotiated. Otherwise, pressure on European sheep breeders would be enormous, he said.

In a recent resolution, the European Parliament said sheep meat imports from countries such as New Zealand undercut the competitiveness of EU products given that New Zealand and Australia are major exporters of sheep meat.

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