Foyle MLA, Maurice Devenney has called on the Department of Agriculture to apply to the European Union to have Northern Ireland cattle declared brucellosis-free.
Mr Devenney said that it had been three years since the last case of brucellosis in Northern Ireland.
“If brucellosis-free status is achieved, then control measures could be reduced, bringing significant savings for livestock farmers and would also reduce a lot of the bureaucracy that currently surrounds this issue as well as reducing the costs to farmers, which currently stands at around £7m a year,” he said.
“This comes at a good time when our meat plants across Northern Ireland are expanding into new markets, and if this ban could be lifted it would be excellent for our export market,” he said.
“When we look across the border to our neighbours in the South of Ireland, who are now looking at exporting meat to China, the lifting of the brucellosis ban would allow us to compete internationally in the same way.”