Mr McMullan said: “A reduced change to the status of cows in the North in relation to BSE would improve the ability of our farmers and the agri-food industry to engage with new markets and endorse our position in the global market as a high quality and safe beef producer.
“There has been strict conditions imposed to stop the spread of BSE within cows and these have proved successful in limiting the cases of BSE over the years since the major breakout in the late eighties.
“I would appeal to all interested stakeholders to engage with the consultation to ensure maximum pressure is applied in getting the status changed from the current ‘controlled’ to ‘negligible’.
“The consultation opens today 21st March and is available on the DARD website.
“The Minister has proven that safety and risk has remained top of her agenda in all her efforts to promote animal health and this initiative is another one which I fully support.”