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Lifting of Ban on Irish Beef and Sheepmeat in the Gulf Region

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Lifting of Ban on Irish Beef and Sheepmeat in the Gulf Region

Lifting of Ban on Irish Beef and Sheepmeat in the Gulf Region
July 10
11:01 2013

The Irish Government has welcomed a milestone decision by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Food Safety Committee to formally lift longstanding bans on exports of Irish beef and sheepmeat fromIreland to the GCC region. These bans had been in place for well over a decade because of legacy concerns related to scrapie and BSE. The GCC countries comprise the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Sultanate of Oman, Qatar, the State of Kuwait and the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD says that this decision by the GCC Food Safety Committee was the result of on-going efforts by his Department, Irish Embassies in Saudi Arabia and the UAE and Bord Bia over a number of years. These efforts resulted in a successful inspection visit to Ireland by a veterinary delegation from the GCC in February of this year when they saw at first hand the safety and quality of Irish beef and sheepmeat. He adds that while Saudi Arabia had previously lifted a ban on the importation of Irish beef and the UAE had lifted the ban on Irish beef, sheepmeat and poultry, the formal lifting of the GCC-wide ban means that Ireland is free to complete the formalities necessary to export Irish beef and lamb within the GCC as a whole.

Minister Coveney says that this is “a clear signal from the GCC of their confidence in the rigorous controls and excellent standards of food safety in Ireland.”

This oil rich region has a combined population of almost 43.5 million people and is a significant net importer of food products and offers Irish beef and lamb exporters tremendous opportunities.

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