China has banned the import of beef under the age of 30 from the United Kingdom. Beijing imposed the ban last month after a bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or ‘mad cow’ disease was diagnosed in the UK.
China’s General Administration of Customs said in a statement that the ban on beef imports from the United Kingdom took effect on September 29.
Earlier in the 1990s, China imposed a ban on beef imports in the United Kingdom, following the outbreak of mad cow disease. Later in 2016, the two countries agreed to lift the ban.
After that agreement, China was supposed to start importing beef from the United Kingdom. But before that, China banned the import of beef again due to reports of MadCow infection, the BBC reported.
A cow mad cow was identified on a farm in Somerset in the south-west of the UK in September this year, according to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).
In response to the move to ban Chinese beef imports from the UK, the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said it was trying to reassure Chinese authorities that Mad Cow disease had been handled well and that import conditions had been met.
“Our products are safe and should be traded,” said one of the UK’s leading veterinarians.
The United States also banned the import of mutton from the United Kingdom in 1979 due to the Mad Cow infection. However, the United States lifted the two-decade-old ban last September.
The United States also banned beef imports from the United Kingdom in 1997 due to the Mad Cow infection. Last year, for the first time, the United Kingdom exported beef to the United States after being closed for more than 20 years.