China ban has reduced the value of Irish 2020 beef exports by an estimated €60m.
Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue has confirmed that Irish beef shipments to China have been suspended since an isolated case of atypical BSE was confirmed in Co Tipperary in mid-May.
The ban continues despite the Department of Agriculture providing a comprehensive epidemiological report for consideration by the Chinese authorities last June, demonstrating that there were no food safety or control systems implications arising from this isolated case.
The department, in co-ordination with the embassy of Ireland in Beijing, has continued to engage frequently with the relevant Chinese ministry to try to resolve the issue, and Mr McConalogue raised the matter with China’s ambassador to Ireland during a meeting in September.
“Ultimately, it must be recognised that the decision to resume trade remains a matter for the Chinese authorities.” said the minister in the Dáil.
by Stephen Cadogan
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