Getting Irish beef back into the Chinese market must become a priority for the Government, as well as for Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue, the IFA has declared.

IFA livestock chair Brendan Golden has said the Minister and the Government must now redouble their efforts to secure an immediate return of Irish beef to the China.

“It’s a welcome recognition of the work and production standards on Irish farms,” Golden remarked.

The call follows the World Animal Health Organisation announcement that Ireland has attained official negligible risk status for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

Minister's comments

The Minister welcomed the reinstatement of Ireland’s negligible BSE risk status on Thursday “as a ringing endorsement of Ireland’s robust animal health, food and feed safety controls.

"It is a testament to the commitment, expertise and dedication of all stakeholders, who have invested enormous efforts over the years to control and eradicate this disease," the Minister continued.

"I am hopeful that this announcement will support our world-class beef farmers and the wider sector.”