Brazil has suspended beef exports to China, following two confirmed cases of atypical BSE in two states.
The suspension comes into force with immediate effect. China is the biggest buyer of Brazilian beef.
The cases were confirmed in two factories in Brazil, one in the state of Mato Grosso and the other in Minas Gerais. Both cases occurred in older cows.
They are the fourth and fifth cases of atypical BSE reported in over 23 years of BSE surveillance and Brazil has never recorded a case of classical BSE, the Brazilian Beef Exporters Association said on Saturday.
Atypical BSE occurs spontaneously and sporadically, and is not linked to contaminated feed.
“For the case of China, complying with the sanitary protocol signed between the two countries, beef exports have been temporarily suspended.
“The measure came into force on Saturday 4 September and will be maintained until China’s authorities complete their assessment of the information that they have received from Brazil regarding the cases,” it said.
As reported last month by the Irish Farmers Journal, in July Brazil exported 91,000t of beef to China. This was only the second time exports topped 90,000t in the space of one month.
For the first half of 2021, Brazil exported 399,032t of beef to China. This was almost a 10% increase on the 364,160t of beef it exported in the first half of 2020.
In May of last year, Irish beef exports were suspended to China following a case of atypical BSE.