Agriculture Minister Jack Cunningham said:
"This is excellent news and an important day for the United Kingdom's beef industry. It is what we have worked for. We are making sustained efforts to win a wider lifting of the ban to benefit exporters throughout the United Kingdom. The next step is a proposal for a Date Based Export Scheme, under which meat from animals born after 1 August 1996 from all parts of the UK could be exported. This has been put to the Commission by the Agriculture Departments and comprehensively discussed with them."
The Export Certified Herds Scheme permits the export of beef from animals born and slaughtered in Northern Ireland. It was adopted by the Council of Agriculture Ministers on 16 March in Council Decision 98/256/EC. Following the procedures laid down in that Decision, the Commission's inspection team visited Northern Ireland in April and made their report to the Commission, who have today announced that exports may resume from 1 June 1998.