British beef is being allowed back on to dining tables in Hong Kong. The SAR has followed the European Union's move to lift the ban on beef from Northern Ireland only. The Department of Health and the Trade Department said yesterday that since February 1, the Government had resumed processing applications of health and import certificates for beef from Northern Ireland, but no such applications had so far been received. In March 1996, Hong Kong followed the EU and banned all imports of frozen and chilled British beef. At the time, European countries feared eating British beef would lead to Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, the human form of mad cow disease. The European Union lifted the ban in June last year, but confined this only to beef imported from Northern Ireland under strict conditions. A spokesman for the Department of Health said yesterday the SAR maintained there was no direct link between eating British beef and mad cow disease. The 1996 ban was only a measure to restore confidence in the beef market.