Brazil suspends beef exports to China after two cases of mad cow disease

Sao Paulo: Brazil has suspended beef exports to China after confirming two cases of atypical mad cow disease in two separate domestic meat plants.

The temporary suspension that took effect on Saturday was announced by Brazil’s Department of Inspection of Products of Animal Origin (Dipoa). This ban was declared in compliance with bilateral health protocols signed between the two countries.

The measure will remain in place “until the Chinese authorities complete the evaluation of the information on the cases that has already been delivered,” said a statement, as quoted by Sputnik.

China, along with Hong Kong accounts for about 60 per cent of Brazil’s beef export shipments, according to the Beef export tracker.

Brazil’s Agriculture Ministry said the two cases were reported in the city of Belo Horizonte in the state of Minas Gerais and in Nova Canaa do Norte in the state of Mato Grosso. Moreover, Brazil officially notified the World Organization for Animal Health after the disease was confirmed.

According to the Russian news agency, the last case of atypical mad cow disease in Brazil was recorded in 2019, and exports to China were also suspended temporarily at that time.

The ministry further said these current cases are the fourth and fifth atypical mad cow disease cases recorded in the country’s 23 years of surveillance of the disease.