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Minister Smith welcomes raising of age limit for BSE testing regarding beef exports to Russia

 The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today welcomed the decision by the Russian authorities, to raise the age-limit above which slaughtered animals must be tested for BSE from 30 months to 48 months, in respect of exports of beef from Ireland to Russia.  This means that the BSE testing requirements for exports to the Russian Federation are now the same as for exports to EU member states.

 The Minister said this positive news was the result of intensive efforts at political, diplomatic and technical level.  The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, together with the Department of Foreign Affairs, with the assistance of Bord Bia, have been working very closely on this issue over the last eighteen months. 

 Minister Smith said: "This is a very welcome decision as the Russian Federation has been an important market for Irish beef in the past.  The decision by the competent authorities in the Russian Federation follows the submission of a detailed risk assessment by my Department examining the risk involved in raising the age limit for BSE testing. This positive decision removes a technical barrier to the export of beef from Ireland to Russia and should help to stimulate the trade. "

Date Released: 30 August 2010