Veal long ago dropped out of sight in the mainstream British meat market, but it is suddenly prompting interest again with the start of a modest export trade into Belgium and Italy. Reviving veal production was discussed among cattle industry leaders last year as a possible way of absorbing calves pushed into the weak commercial market (or killed on farm) when the subsidised culling scheme neded. Meat wholesalers and retailers showed little interest. Continental buyers emerged as alternative customers when Serval became involved. Serval is a French company, an irony causing visible discomfort to cattle producers indignant at France's refusal to lift its ban on imports of British beef. The first shipment was of veal from calves supplied by Anglo Dutch Meats in Sussex and killed in Cornwall by St Merryn, the only English slaughterer with a plant approved for exporting. As with beef exports, everybody involved emphasises the initial tonnages of veal are small and strong sterling is perhaps a greater obstacle than continental consumers' fears of BSE lingering in the British cattle herd. Some trade growth was likely, especially as the Welsh industry is keen to play a part. But there is no prospect of veal exports disturbing the domestic beef market by taking calves in numbers anywhere near approaching the half million head shipped annually to Dutch and French fatteners in the early 1990s. {{MEAT }}