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Minister Coughlan announces support for major new international livestock event - Beef Expo, Ireland 2008

Beef Expo, Ireland 2008

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., has announced that her Department will provide funding towards the costs of staging the first major International Conference and Show of pedigree beef cattle in Ireland, which will be held in Autumn 2008. The event will be co-ordinated by Bord Bia.

The Minister said that this event will provide a unique opportunity for Irish pedigree livestock farmers, who consistently breed top quality animals, to inform international buyers on the high standards of breeding currently being achieved in Ireland and will provide the opportunity to showcase the quality of cattle available in this country.

Minister Coughlan added: "I am very pleased to be in a position to help the livestock sector seek extra export markets and opportunities for Irish beef cattle. I have long recognised the value and benefit of having a strong livestock export industry. My Department has invested heavily during the past decade in developing a top class cattle breeding infrastructure. Beef Expo event will allow Ireland to showcase our premier beef breeding cattle that have been identified using advanced testing and genetic evaluation systems and reward the huge efforts made by all stakeholders in recent years."

The event itself will be held over two days and will comprise of two main elements. A one-day Conference with national and international speakers, including Pedigree Breeders, Bord Bia, Teagasc and ICBF, outlining the production systems and characteristics of Irish livestock production and cattle breed improvement. On the second day an Exhibition of livestock will take place to showcase the range and quality of pedigree beef cattle available in Ireland. The event will also be promoted at a number of high profile European Shows.

Stressing the importance of the pedigree breeding sector to the livestock industry, the Minister stated that is was important that the cattle breeding developments that have taken place over the past number of years in Ireland are recognised with a view to opening new markets and consolidating existing markets. This will help ensure that the great tradition of cattle breeding remains alive and vibrant in rural Ireland.

The Minister pointed out that she had asked Bord Bia to co-ordinate the event as it will build on the already well-established marketing and promotional expertise and activities of Bord Bia in the livestock sector.

Concluding, the Minister paid tribute to the Organising Committee, which included members representative of sectors of the Industry and wished them well with the event which she hopes will firmly establish Ireland as a noted exporter of quality beef cattle to Europe and to the rest of the world.

29 November, 2007

Date Released: 30 November 2007