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Major Step Forward on BSE Certification a Huge Boost for Beef Trade - Coveney

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD, today welcomed the decision by the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) to recognise Ireland as a country having a negligible risk for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

Welcoming the landmark decision, the Minister said that it reflected the huge progress made over many years in eradicating this disease from the national herd, “BSE had caused very considerable disruption to trade in the beef sector in the past and the measures taken both to protect public health and to eradicate the disease had imposed very considerable costs on the beef sector.” 

Minister Coveney said the next step in the process is to give practical and legal effect to the OIE decision at EU level, and indicated that this would allow his Department to engage with competent authorities in third countries with a view to agreeing simplified trade certification conditions over time.

The effect of the decision will be to significantly reduce the list of materials derived from bovines which have to be disposed of as SRMs (specified risk materials). It is estimated that the potential value of this change to the meat processing sector will be of the order of €25m per annum.

However the real benefit to the beef industry will be market access and new trade opportunities for Ireland.

Concluding, the Minister said that “The OIE decision will further advance Ireland’s reputation with other beef markets around the world.  This announcement provides compelling evidence of the effectiveness of the measures taken over the years to control and eradicate this disease and is evidence of the commitment, expertise and dedication of all Department staff and stakeholders who contributed to this development”.

 View Press Release as a PDF:  DAFMPR 98/2015 (pdf 422Kb) 

Date Released: 03 June 2015