Indonesia Approves Canadian Beef Imports

INDONESIA - Indonesia has approved the import of beef products from five Canadian slaughterhouses after the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) put Canada under "controlled-risk" status for mad cow disease, an official said on Monday.
calendar icon 19 June 2007
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"Their status has been upgraded. Initially there were six slaughterhouses but only five have met halal certification," said Turni Rusli Syamsudin, director of veterinary public health at the agriculture ministry.

He referred to the Islamic halal system for food consumption which is key in Indonesia, the world most populous Muslim nation.

Syamsudin said the permit was issued in May and Canadian beef products were expected to enter Indonesia this month.

Indonesia placed a ban on Canadian beef imports in May 2003.

Last month, OIE which sets guidelines for animal health and meat safety, gave Canada and the United States a "controlled risk" status for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also known as mad cow disease.

The OIE says deboned beef from cattle under 30 months of age is safe, and with appropriate precautions in a controlled risk country, beef from older animals and bone-in meat can be consumed safely as well.

The agriculture ministry has previously said it was set to lift a two-year-old import ban on U.S. beef.

Source: Reuters

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