May 282015

The President of ICMSA said that 29 May will be seen to mark a hugely significant and positive day for the Irish beef sector following the decision to be taken by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) to raise Irelands’ status in relation to BSE from “Controlled risk” to “Negligible risk”. John Comer noted that to be designated a “negligible risk” – the highest possible status – a country must have had no indigenous BSE case in an animal born in the last 11 years. Mr Comer said the upgrade is a ringing endorsement of the work and sacrifices made by farmers, the industry, and the regulators, over the last nearly 20 years and it was now important that beef farmers see a benefit from this decision through higher prices for our beef.

Mr. Comer said that great progress had been made over the past number of years in terms of improving market access for Irish beef and the decision today should further boost our efforts in the marketing and promotion of Irish grass-fed beef. In addition, this decision should also lead to significant savings in terms of disposal of Specified Risk Material (SRM) and, on this issue alone, farmers should benefit through higher prices given that the costs of disposal will be significantly reduced and thus add value to Irish beef.

“The global independent body on animal health has recognised the progress made by the Irish beef sector today and we must now push on, boost market returns and return stronger prices to beef prices based on the recognised status of our beef”, concluded Mr. Comer.

Ends    01 June 2015

John Comer, 087-2057846

President, ICMSA.


Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office