18 May 1999
Data error threat to NI beef exports

ERRORS discovered in the database covering Northern Irelands cattle could put a questionmark over the future of the provinces export trade.

Northern Ireland has exported cattle for the past year under the Export Certified Herds Scheme, which validates that animals have come from herds which have been free of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) for the last eight years.

But it has been found that some animals have been presented which were out of the terms of the scheme.

It seems cattle came from herds on the basis of eight years since the first case of BSE, rather than the last.

The Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland has acted to correct the problem.