Reuters reports Brazilian beef exports halted Feb. 23 after BSE confirmed

According to an online article by Reuters, Brazil’s beef exports to China was halted starting Feb. 23 after a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy was confirmed in the northern state of Para.

The suspension is part of an animal health pact previously agreed on by China and Brazil and is expected to be temporary. It is a blow to Brazilian farmers, as China is the main destination for Brazil’s beef exports.

“All measures are being taken immediately at each stage of the investigation and the matter is being handled with total transparency to guarantee Brazilian and global consumers the recognized quality of our meat,” Minister Carlos Favaro said in a statement.

The confirmed case of BSE was in a 9-year-old male animal on a small property in the municipality of Marabá (PA). The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock has been adopting all the necessary government measures for the Brazilian meat market.

The World Organization for Animal Health was notified and the samples were sent to the institution’s reference laboratory in Alberta, Canada, which will be able to confirm whether the case is atypical.

The animal, raised on pasture, without feed, was slaughtered and its carcass incinerated on site. The official Brazilian veterinary service is carrying out the epidemiological investigation which may be continued or terminated depending on the result.

The ministry is pushing for dialogue with the authorities to be intensified to demonstrate all the information and the prompt reestablishment of the Brazilian meat trade.

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