China Reinstates UK Beef Ban Due to Mad Cow Outbreak

China reinstated its ban on British beef after a new outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or mad cow disease in the United Kingdom was confirmed in September.

The Chinese General Administration of Customs said that the ban took effect on Sep. 29, just after the U.K.’s Animal and Plant Health Agency confirmed a case of BSE at a farm in Somerset.

Beijing’s ban on British beef was initially lifted in 2018 after it was first first imposed in 1996 due to earlier outbreaks of BSE — the U.K. said that the lifting of the ban was set to benefit its beef industry around $265 million in the following years.

The U.K’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) said that the move is not expected to have any immediate effects as China has yet to buy British beef since it ended the ban in 2018, but it will affect future trade plans.

“There is no threat to human health and we continue work with relevant trading partners to ensure that import conditions are met,” said Phil Hadley, AHDB international market director.


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