SKorea To Conduct On-Site Inspections Of U.S. Beef Industry

SOUTH KOREA - South Korea said Thursday it will conduct on-site inspections of beef industry facilities in the United States this weekend ahead of talks about further easing Seoul's restrictions on imports of American beef.
calendar icon 28 June 2007
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An eight-member government delegation will visit cattle ranches, slaughter houses and animal feed facilities to check the sanitary condition of American beef from Saturday through July 8, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry said in a statement.

The inspection is part of an eight-stage risk assessment South Korea has conducted in a possible step toward resuming imports of meat attached to bone, which is currently banned.

Seoul has said the process could be wrapped up as early as September if things go smoothly.

South Korea shut its doors to American beef in December 2003 after an outbreak of mad cow disease in the U.S. It partially reopened its market last year, but agreed to accept only boneless meat from cattle under 30 months old, which are thought to be less at risk of carrying the illness.

In May, the World Organization for Animal Health ruled that the U.S. was a ''controlled risk nation,'' a category that means countries can export beef irrespective of the animal's age. Washington has since urged its trading partners to reopen export markets to the full spectrum of U.S. cattle and beef products.

Source: Santa Barbara News Press
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