Irish fight UAE beef ban

DUBAI - Ireland said it has made progress in its efforts to have the six-year UAE ban on its beef exports lifted.
calendar icon 19 January 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
Irish officials have discussed the issue with the governments of UAE and Saudi Arabia to resume beef sales to the two countries, which stopped European beef imports following the mad cow crisis in 2000.

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease, is a chronic, degenerative disorder that affects the central nervous system of cattle. The disease can be transmitted to humans.

"We've got positive feedback both in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. It is up to the technical people to go through the details of the issues," Ireland's Trade Minister Micheal Martin told Gulf News.

"We are anxious to give people an understanding of our animal health regime. No diseased animal is ever allowed into the food chain. Those assurances would facilitate return of our beef to the markets," he said. Martin said Ireland could export "quite a significant amount" of beef to the Gulf, but he could not provide any estimates.

In 2006, Ireland's total exports to the UAE were 150 million euros. The UAE's expanding hospitality sector also makes the country an attractive market for food exports.

Source: Gulf
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