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LIFE looks set to be different for the farming community in Northern Ireland when the assembly convenes at Stormont on 8 May.
ONE of the immediate consequences of the BSE crisis in March 1996 was a total ban on all sales of beef from cattle aged over 30 months.
FARMERS who run large herds of breeding cattle were yesterday warned by the National Beef Association that they should not pin their hopes on the European Commission reintroducing a range of support measures to maintain supplies of beef.
INDUSTRY leaders were putting a brave face on their forecasts for the future of the red meat industry at the Meat and Livestock Commission's annual outlook conference in London yesterday, only for top Irish pundit Matt Dempsey to dash their hopes.
DOWNRIGHT carelessness on the part of farmers when disposing of cows born before August 1996 could threaten the continuation of beef exports to mainland Europe, according to the National Beef Association.
ROSS Finnie, Scotland's food minister, is continuing his efforts - "A tough job but someone has to do it," he said recently - to promote red meat exports by attending an international food and drink exhibition in Paris.
SUPERMARKETS and other large retailers in England and Wales, with Scotland set to fall in line, face the prospect of prosecution by Trading Standards and Environmental Health Departments if they fail clearly to differentiate beef by country of origin.
SCOTLAND'S food minister outlined his vision for a successful industry yesterday as organisers of the Royal Highland Show he was visiting homed in on a "buy local, eat local" theme.
A GERMAN farmer is finally to take delivery of eight Highland cows, 16 years after he ordered them from the Hebrides.
IN A race for the moral high ground at an emergency general meeting yesterday, the National Beef Association (NBA) dissolved its Scottish council.
SCOTCH beef is back on the European menu after the lifting of the ten-year export ban this month, with residents of Monaco the latest to savour what Scots claim is "the best beef in the world".
THE first live calves to be exported from Britain for more than ten years left Dover yesterday to be reared for veal in Holland and Belgium.
THE first consignment of Scotch beef to be exported to Europe in ten years was leaving the country today.
REMOVAL of the decade-long British beef export ban next week is mainly good news for beef farmers.
THE chairman of the National Beef Association stuck his neck out yesterday by forecasting that beef prices would rise by 20 per cent soon after the beef export ban ends on 3 May.
THE mood was one of cautious optimism at the annual conference of the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers in Edinburgh on Saturday.
EUROPE'S veterinary experts today unanimously approved the ending of the worldwide ban on British beef exports imposed ten years ago because of mad cow disease.
BEEF from older cattle will return to Britain's shops and catering outlets on 7 November after a nine-year ban.