Long-standing bans on Irish beef and sheep meat in six Gulf states are to be lifted by the Food Safety Committee of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
The ban originally arose from concerns about BSE and scrapie but its lifting means Irish meat products can be exported to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Sultanate of Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain.
The news has been welcomed by Fine Gael Galway East TD Paul Connaughton who said it was a “just reward for the hard work” Irish farmers have done to “ensure the meat they produce” is of the highest international standards.
“These are all lucrative markets for Ireland and will provide a much needed boost to the exports of Irish beef and sheep meat,” he said.
The region has a population of more than 43 million and Dep Connaughton said the “challenge for Irish farmers” is to “maximise the potential of these lucrative markets”.