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The U.S. Lifts Ban on Beef Imports from Ireland

Image via Flickr by Carl Wycoff

Fifteen years ago, the U.S. banned imports of beef from Ireland because of mad cow disease. Now, the ban is being lifted. This will boost the euro beef industry by millions of dollars, particularly in Ireland. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has performed strict inspections at beef production facilities in Ireland and found that the beef is safe. Each beef plant is being approved for U.S. imports individually just to make sure.

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The U.S. is the world’s largest consumer of beef. However, the cattle industry is suffering because of high feed prices, drought conditions, and high transportation costs in the U.S. The size of cattle herds in the U.S. was lower in 2014 than it was back in 1951. The low supply and high demand have cause beef prices to jump significantly higher. Beef imports from Ireland should help normalize the beef industry in the U.S.

The low supply of beef in the U.S. is a major reason why that the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommended that the ban on beef from Ireland be lifted. Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney from Ireland welcomed the new, telling RTE Radio 1, “The U.S. market is a high prize, given the size of the market and the demand we know exists there for premium grass-fed beef… We now have first-mover advantage as a result of being the first EU member state to gain entry.”

The agriculture industry in Ireland has suffered badly because of the 15 year ban on beef exports. The cattle industry has barely been profitable. However, things are expected to turn around for Ireland now, especially if they can increase the amount of cattle they produce. For instance, consumers in the U.S. favor grass-fed beef. This is a major industry Ireland is expected to fill. [/show_to]


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