Russians in BSE rule move
The decision by Russian authorities to raise the age limit above which slaughtered animals must be tested for BSE from 30 months to 48 months has been welcomed by Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith.
The move means that the BSE testing requirements for exports to the Russian Federation are now in line with those for exports to EU member states.
Mr Smith claimed the Russian decision followed intensive efforts at political, diplomatic and technical level.
He said the Department of Agriculture, together with the Department of Foreign Affairs, with the assistance of Bord Bia, had been working very closely on this issue over the past 18 months.
"This is a very welcome decision as the Russian Federation has been an important market for Irish beef in the past," Mr Smith said.
"The decision by the competent authorities in the Russian Federation follows the submission of a detailed risk assessment by my Department examining the risk involved in raising the age limit for BSE testing. This positive decision removes a technical barrier to the export of beef from Ireland to Russia and should help to stimulate the trade," he added.