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DA bans cattle, beef imports from UK

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Sunday that it ordered a temporary ban on live cattle and beef imports from the UK due to a case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) or Mad Cow Disease detected in the British herd.

In a statement, the DA said that shipments of live cattle, meat, meat products, bovine processed animal proteins, and cattle semen originating from the UK will not be allowed entry.

“The temporary import ban was issued due to an occurrence of classical strain, C-type BSE which was detected in South Ayrshire, Scotland on May 10,” the DA said.

It added that the UK government reported the case to the World Organization for Animal Health and an official letter was sent to the DA.

Mad Cow disease can cause fatal nerve damage in cattle and its entry or possible spread in the country could undermine the livestock industry and compromise food safety.

BSE is also zoonotic and may pass from animal to humans causing Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, which causes brain shrinkage and deterioration.

“In order to facilitate continuous trade while mitigating the possible risk of spread of BSE infection, all shipments coming from the United Kingdom that are already in transit, loaded or accepted unto port shall be allowed provided that the products were slaughtered or produced on or before April 10,” the DA added.

The DA added that it would implement more stringent inspections of all arrivals of meat and meat by-products derived from cattle, including live animals and bovine processed animal proteins at the ports of entry. — Adrian H. Halili