A ban on bovine and ovine genetic material was introduced in China four years ago due to the Schmallenberg virus. However, the ban has now been lifted for exports from Denmark, France, Germany and the UK.

China introduced an import ban on bovine semen, bovine embryo, ovine semen and ovine embryo produced after 1 June 2011 from several EU countries because of a suspected risk of the virus which can cause birth defects and stillbirths in cattle, sheep and goats.

Following the announcement of the decision by Minister for Agriculture in China Han Changfu, Commissioner Hogan said that they will work towards re-opening the Chinese market for all EU countries.

“The commission, together with EU member states and EU businesses, have been working towards re-opening the Chinese market for export of bovine and ovine genetic material from all EU countries interested in exports, and we welcome the lifting of this ban that should allow for real trading to take place rapidly. We look forward to seeing China opening its market for these safe products from the rest of the EU in the near future,” he said.

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