There are fears that the proposed lifting of the ban on UK beef exports could be delayed by up to three months.
A vote on the issue by the European Union’s Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health is expected on March 7 or 8 and a ‘yes’ vote could lead to exports resuming in the middle of April.
But experts warn that some large member states - including France, Germany and Spain, Austria and Italy - may vote against lifting the ban.
Meat and Livestock Commission EU adviser Helen Judge said: “Just 90 votes against an end to the ban will be enough to block it, and France, Germany, Spain and Italy have 114 votes between them.”
If the committee does not back the proposal, it will go to the Council of Ministers.
Judge said: “It’s unlikely that the Council will block the proposal. But such a move by the Standing Committee would delay the resumption of normal exports until the late spring, if not early summer.”