Scottish beef exporters can today trade with the lowest risk level status available for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE).
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) recognises the BSE risk from beef raised in Scotland and Northern Ireland is at the safest level available - negligible risk.
England and Wales continue to be recognised as having controlled risk BSE status.
The confirmation is expected to help open international market access for beef exports outside of the EU.
Rural Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “This is a landmark day for our red meat sector, with Scotland achieving the lowest possible risk status for BSE – negligible risk.
“This is reward for years of hard work from the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers, producers, our red meat businesses, vets, and this government all of whom have worked tirelessly to build a failsafe system which protects our animal and public health.
“Scotland’s meat exports are currently thriving and this certification stands us in good stead for our exporters to increase Scottish Beef exports even further.”
Frank Clark, president of the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW) said: “The support given to the industry’s case by the Cabinet Secretary and his officials has been invaluable, delivering a major advance for our industry and a boost for member companies.”