Japan Removes 23-Year Import Ban on British Beef


Tokyo, Jan. 9 (Jiji Press)--Japan's health ministry said Wednesday that it lifted the same day an import ban on beef from Britain, introduced in March 1996 after the discovery of mad cow disease in the European nation.

But imports are allowed only for meat from cattle younger than 30 months. Japan continues prohibiting imports of spinal cord and head parts from cattle aged over 12 months, except tongue and cheek meat.

The fatal brain-wasting disease, formally called bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, was found in Britain in 1986 for the first time in the world. The reported number of BSE-infected cattle around the globe peaked 37,316 in 1992.

In 1996, the World Health Organization pointed to the possibility of humans being infected with the disease.

The number of cattle with BSE has fallen substantially, however, in recent years, thanks partly to feed regulations aimed at preventing infections.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press