US may loosen EU meat import restrictions

The US is proposing to change regulations which restricted the importation of sheepmeat from the EU.

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed welcomed the move by the US Department of Agriculture.

While it is still early in the process, he said it potentially provides an opportunity for Ireland to penetrate a sector of the US market.

This can reward top quality, sustainably produced sheepmeat and add the US to the list of third country markets buying Irish product.

“The onus now is on the Irish sheepmeat sector to prove its credentials in areas such as traceability and secure market access as soon as the decision is formalised,” he said.

He said his Department is already working to complete veterinary technical documentation demanded by the US so Irish sheepmeat can take advantage of the development.

This would help to boost the existing €230m of exports to a wide range of EU and third country markets.

“Along with the current proposal for a €25m sheep scheme, as well as the various other supports and market developments, the future looks very much improved for the Irish sheep sector,” he said.


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