Japan Beef Import Suspension Partially Lifted

HONG KONG - The Center for Food Safety of Hong Kong announced here Tuesday that it would resume processing applications for beef imports from Japan with effect from Friday after more than five years of suspension amid mad cow disease worries.
calendar icon 25 April 2007
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"After a thorough assessment and having satisfied ourselves with the enhanced control measures implemented by Japan against mad cow disease, we will partially lift the suspension of imports of Japanese beef," the center's spokesman said.

Hong Kong suspended its imports of beef from Japan since Sept. 19, 2001 after the detection of a case of mad cow disease in Japan 's Chiba Prefecture.

According to an agreed protocol between Hong Kong and Japan, only boneless beef from cattle less than 30 months of age, with high risk materials such as brain and spinal cord removed during slaughtering, can be imported at the initial stage from designated establishments approved by the Japanese authorities.

Moreover, the imports of each and every consignment of beef from Japan to Hong Kong shall have the center's prior written permission and shall be accompanied by a health certificate. 

 "We will closely monitor the situation and review our import requirements as and when necessary," he said.

The import of beef from Japan has been temporarily suspended since September 19, 2001 after the detection of a case of BSE in Chiba Prefecture.

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