China To Reconsider Irish Beef Imports

As a result of Enda Kenny’s trade mission to China the ban on Irish beef imports could be lifted as early as next year.

China still maintains a ban on all EU beef imports since the BSE outbreak of 2000, but incoming Chinese president, Xi Jingping, has agreed to send a team of scientific experts to Ireland to examine the quality of beef in the coming months.

The Chinese leader-in-waiting visited Ireland last month and a key feature of his trip was a visit to a Co Clare dairy farm.

Mr Kenny said: "These are long-term operations and they are based purely on scientific evidence."

"There is a process to go through here but China expressed a clear willingness to start that process by having scientific experts analyse Ireland's standards."

Ireland is the largest net exporter of beef in the northern hemisphere. Export markets are of fundamental importance to the country's 60,000 cattle farmers and access to the lucrative Chinese market would be a huge boost for rural Ireland.

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