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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Major Scored for Beef 'Surrender'

LONDON -- Farmers, opposition politicians and the media accused Prime Minister John Major of a climbdown Thursday after Britain agreed to kill up to 67,000 more cattle to settle its battle with Europe over mad cow disease.


Major agreed to the increased cull Wednesday as part of plan to win a lifting of the European Union's worldwide ban on British beef imposed in March after Britain announced a possible link between bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease) and its human form, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.


"Surrender by Britain over beef ban," said the right-wing Daily Telegraph, accusing the Conservative government of bowing to pressure from Brussels.


"After British bravado comes a hasty retreat," added The Independent.


British farmers, whose ?600 million ($930 million) industry has been crippled by the ban, described the expanded cull as "devastating news."


Deputy Prime Minister Michael Heseltine tried to play down the furor. "We are talking about a handful of cattle in relative terms. The chances are that ... most of them would be slaughtered in a very short period of time in the ordinary course of events," he told BBC radio.