China has banned all beef exports from the UK, including beef exports from Northern Ireland.
The Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural affairs (DAERA) has confirmed to the Irish Farmers Journal that Northern Ireland is included in the ban.
The ban was announced by China following the discovery of a case of classical BSE on a farm in England in September.
It was initially thought that Northern Ireland would be excluded from the ban as it has a separate veterinary system and has negligible risk BSE status – the best BSE status a country can achieve.
England and Wales were considered as controlled risk areas for BSE.
The Philippines has also temporarily banned beef exports from the UK, including beef from Northern Ireland.
This decision by the Philippines to exclude Northern Ireland is of more immediate concern to farmers and meat processors.
It has been one of the largest buyers of beef from the island of Ireland outside of Britain and the EU. Between January and July this year the Philippines imported 11,600t of beef from the Republic of Ireland.
The decision by China is consistent with its policy on both Brazil and the Republic of Ireland, which have both had to suspend exports following the discovery of a case of BSE.
In the cases of both Brazil and Ireland, it was an atypical case of BSE which was found, whereas the case found in the England in September was a classical case.
Ireland has now been excluded from the Chinese market since May 2020, while Brazil, whose beef exports were suspended on 4 September, is anxiously awaiting approval to recommence exports.