Irish beef exports to China suspended after BSE case
At a glance
- Irish beef exports to China are suspended after a case of atypical BSE was detected in a cow
- The case was confirmed on Friday after tests were carried out on a dead 10-year-old cow that had been delivered for destruction
- The Chinese market had resumed to Irish beef exports in January 2023, following a previous case of BSE in 2020
- The BSE case, commonly known as mad cow disease, is atypical, meaning it can occur naturally as opposed to traditionally BSE caused by contaminated fee
Beef exports from the Republic of Ireland to China have been suspended after a case of atypical BSE, commonly known as mad cow disease, was detected in a cow.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ reports that the case was confirmed on Friday after tests were carried out by Irish Department of Agriculture vets on a dead 10-year-old cow that had been delivered for destruction.
The Chinese market had reopened to Irish beef exports in January, following a three-year closure due to a previous BSE case discovered in 2020.
Under a protocol agreed with China, beef exports have to be suspended when any BSE case is discovered.
It is understood any timetable for the resumption of beef exports is up to the Chinese authorities.
RTÉ reports that shipments of Irish beef to China resumed in April, but that the current level of exports had been low, amounting to just over €16m (£13.9m) by the end of August.
BSE is an acronym for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy.
Atypical BSE can occur spontaneously in older cattle and occurs naturally, unlike traditional BSE that is caused by giving contaminated feed to bovines. It is not contagious.
The Irish Department of Agriculture said there was no danger at any stage of this animal entering the human food chain and no public health risk.
Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) national livestock chairman Brendan Golden said the news was disappointing and “a setback that we could do without”.
He said the market needed to reopen as quickly as possible.