To Russia, with love

The Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) has been working with Northern Ireland breeders and breeders groups to explore opportunities for exporting cattle and sheep genetics to Europe and beyond.

Already this year, LMC has organised four meetings for those interested in livestock genetic exports at LMC in Lisburn as well as promoting NI livestock genetics at international trade shows in Germany, France and Russia.

The Northern Ireland breeders have made quite an impact at these shows- so much so that three Russian livestock genetics experts visited Northern Ireland this week to explore at first hand what Northern Ireland has to offer.

At the moment Russia does not allow livestock genetic imports from the UK however when the government decides to open up trade Northern Ireland will be well prepared to take maximum advantage of the opportunity.

Ilyas Nurgalievich Shaidullin, Professor of Animal Husbandry at Moscow State Academy, Tatiana Petukhva manager of the Shiblino Lamb Farm and Alexander Koulikov director and owner of Shiblino Lamb Farm spent three days in Northern Ireland visiting a meat processing facility as well as Greenmount Hill and Sheep Farm and Hillsborough Research Institute.

The Russian delegation also met with representatives from a number of Northern Ireland breeders groups.

Organiser of the visit, Jelmer Hania LMC Export Development Executive, said: "Since the ban was lifted on livestock exports last year we at LMC have been working to raise the Northern Ireland profile abroad. There has been much interest already in livestock and genetics - there is demand for good commercial breeds as well as embryos and semen. Northern Ireland is now ready to take advantage of this - we along with other organisations are keen to see the Russian market open again, this visit from the Russian delegation could prove to be valuable to the industry. Exports of livestock genetics could make an important contribution to farmers incomes".

Northern Ireland Livestock Genetics will be on show at the Ploughing Match in Tullamore, Co Offaly during September as well as trade shows in Poland, Romania and France over the winter months

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