Philippines Suspends British Beef Imports Due To BSE Risk


The Philippines has temporarily banned beef exports from the UK due to a case of classic bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease.

The Agriculture Department’s suspension covers the importation of live cattle, meat and meat products from cattle.

The agency said classic BSE is a zoonotic disease that may pose a risk to consumers because of its link to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in humans.

Shipments before the decision has been communicated to the UK authorities are permitted provided that the date of slaughter and production is no later than August 31, 2021.

The BSE case was detected on a farm in Somerset, England, and was reported to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) on September 17.

It was confirmed in a six-and-a-half-year-old cow on a dairy farm with 172 lactating cows and replacement heifers. The cow was close to calving and the breeder had noticed abnormal behavior, according to an OIE opinion.

The animal has not been sent for slaughter and has not entered the food chain, so there is no threat to food safety or human health, officials said.

All cohorts and descendants of the BSE case were identified and subjected to movement restrictions. They will be slaughtered and screened for BSE.

Classical BSE occurs in cattle after ingesting food contaminated with prions, according to the OIE.

APHA action
The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has put the process online to apply for an export health certificate to send fresh and frozen beef to the Philippines on hold.

The APHA is investigating the herd, premises, potential sources of infection and will report the results at a later date.

A spokesperson for the Food Standards Agency said there are strict controls to protect consumers from the risk of BSE.

“Consumers can be reassured that these important safeguards remain in place and that official veterinarians and FSA meat hygiene inspectors working at all slaughterhouses in England will continue to ensure that consumer safety remains. top priority, “according to the spokesperson.

In mid-September, the Philippines also banned live cattle, meat and meat products from cattle from Brazil due to two cases of atypical BSE in the states of Mato Grosso and Minais Gerais. .

Brazil has also halted beef imports to China, one of its main markets, due to the findings. Atypical BSE usually occurs in older cattle at a low rate.

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