Irish farmers urge Chinese BSE case resolution

By Aidan Fortune contact

- Last updated on GMT

Irish farmers urge Chinese BSE case resolution

Related tags: Ireland, China, Bse, Beef, Livestock

Irish cattle farmers have called on the government to resolve the Chinese suspension of beef trade following the confirmation of atypical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in a cow in Ireland.

According to the OIE report, the animal in question was a 14-year-old limousine cow based in Co. Tipperary. It and eight others were deemed to be susceptible to the disease, and while that animal died, the others were disposed of. An atypical BSE case does not affect Ireland's current OIE controlled risk status or progress towards negligible risk status however China suspended beef imports once the announcement was made.

Irish Farmers Association president Tim Cullinan said the situation must be resolved quickly.

“This is a technical issue resulting from the discovery of a case of A-Typical BSE in a 14-year old cow in this country. Under the protocol, Ireland is required to submit a detailed epidemiological report,”​ he said. “Given the nature of this case, once the report is reviewed by the Chinese authorities, there should be no delay in regaining access.”

Cullinan stressed the importance of the growing Chinese market to the Irish beef industry. “The Chinese market took 10,000 tonnes of Irish beef last year and 2,900 tonnes had gone there in the first quarter of 2020. This is a relatively small amount and accounts for less than 2% of our beef exports. However, it’s an important and growing market. We need to get back there as a matter of urgency,”​ he said.

Related topics: Meat

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