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Minister welcomes new opportunities for beef and poultry exports to the United Arab Emirates

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, today welcomed the decision by the authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to remove the age restriction on beef exported from Ireland to the UAE.

Up to now the UAE requirement has been that the beef must be derived from animals under 30 months of age. However with effect from 6 August 2012, the beef can come from animals of any age. In addition, the bilateral veterinary health certificate between the UAE and Ireland for boneless beef has been broadened to allow for meat products derived from chilled and frozen boneless beef. The Minister said that these were significant developments, and would make life much easier for beef exporters, who regard the UAE as an important third country market. It will also provide new opportunities for exporters who want to export value-added product.

The Minister also announced that the UAE and Irish Authorities have reached agreement on a veterinary health cert which allows for the export of poultrymeat and poultrymeat products from Ireland to the UAE and said that this too would provide more exciting opportunities for Irish exporters. Minister Coveney explained that these decisions by the UAE were the result of ongoing communications between his Department, Irish Embassy UAE and Bord Bia with the UAE authorities and were a real recognition by those authorities of their confidence in Ireland's veterinary and sanitary controls. He added that "there is every reason to believe that these decisions by the UAE will have a positive effect on our efforts to gain access to other markets in the Arab world".

The Minister concluded by re-affirming his commitment to obtaining increased market opportunities globally for the export of Irish meat and meat products and said that he and his Department would continue in their efforts aided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Bord Bia. 

Date Released: 21 August 2012