Restrictions on the export of live animals will be lifted next week in all but the area of Surrey affected by this year's foot and mouth outbreaks and the parts of England affected by bluetongue control measures.

The EC Standing Committee for the Food Chain and Animal Health said it had voted to remove all remaining UK export restrictions, meaning live animal exports would be allowed after 31 December from Surrey and elsewhere from next week.

The news was welcomed by the NFU, which said there was no reason why prices should not now rise. The NFU will push for aid packages for the worst-hit areas.

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