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Since December 2005, the only live cattle exports to third countries that qualify for any financial assistance are live female breeding animals that must meet specific criteria in relation to their age and weight. The payment of export refunds is subject to compliance with European Union legislation on the protection of animals during transport.
There have been no discussions between DEFRA Ministers and the European Commission regarding this issue. However, DEFRA officials attend the Monthly Animal Products Management Committee meetings in Brussels and discuss exports and other issues relating to the market in beef and veal, with the European Commission and other member states.