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Qatar Suspends Purchase of Brazilian Beef

28 January 2013

BRAZIL - Two other nations have announced the suspension of imports of Brazilian beef. Qatar and Belarus jointed another ten countries that have restricted purchases of the product since Brazil disclosed, in December 2012, that a cow contaminated with mad cow disease had died in 2010, but from other causes.

Brazil has already stated that it is offering clarifications to the importers and on 26 and 27 January a delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture will travel to Tehran, in Iran, to offer explanations required by the country, which has not embargoed the Brazilian product.

According to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Agriculture, the Brazilian delegation should meet with animal health directors and sanitary technicians in Iran, who asked for clarification regarding the case of mad cow disease in the herd in Paraná which was contaminated with the agent that causes bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). However, the animal died without developing the disease and the case was considered "non-classic".

On Wednesday (23 January), notwithstanding, Qatar and Belarus also announced temporary suspension of import of beef from Brazil. Apart from these two countries, Japan, China, South Korea, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and Peru stopped importing beef from all over Brazil. Lebanon and Jordan suspended purchases of beef from Paraná and Chile stopped buying solely bone and beef flour.

Still according to a press statement disclosed by the Ministry of Agriculture, imports from these countries represent 5 per cent of the total that Brazil exports of the product. According to figures disclosed by the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, shipments of beef up to the third week of January were 47.5 per cent greater than in the same period in 2011.

From 4 to 8 February, technicians from the Ministry of Agriculture should participate in a meeting of the scientific committee of the World Animal Health Organisation, in Paris. According to information disclosed by newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, employees of the Ministry of Agriculture should also visit Saudi Arabia and China after a meeting to clarify the case in Paris. The Ministry of Agriculture, however, does not confirm these two meetings.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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