After a bovine spongiform and encephalopathy case (BSE) in Britain last month, China banned British beef imports from the UK of any cattle less than 30 months old.

According to the General Administration of Customs, the ban was in effect as of 29 September.

China still has not started buying beef from Britain after it lifted previous restrictions in 2018.

Beijing placed a moratorium on BSE in 1990s, during an earlier epidemic.

According to the UK’s Animal and Plant Health Agency(APHA), a case of BSE was confirmed at a Somerset farm in September.

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China lifted a ban for two decades on beef imports from Britain. This was first implemented in response to the outbreak of BSE during the 1990s.

At the time, the UK government said the lifting of the ban would be worth £250m to British producers over the next five years.

After years of negotiations and site inspections, it was finally approved by officials from Beijing and London.

The UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs responded to this latest development by saying that it is working with Chinese authorities to assure them that BSE has been managed successfully and that they can meet import requirements.

Christine Middlemiss is the UK’s chief vet officer. She stated: “We have the highest levels biosecurity in all of the world. These are supported with robust control systems. Our products can be safely traded and they should not be stopped.”

In September, the US declared that it would lift its long-standing ban on British lamb imports.

After the initial outbreaks of BSE, 1989 saw US import restrictions on British lamb.

British beef exports from the US to this year were resumed last year, more than twenty years after their cessation.

Washington bans British beef following the 1996 BSE outbreak.

BBC reached out the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for clarification on China’s announcement.

Source: BBC.com

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