Canada allows French beef imports to continue after mad cow case

By AFP   March 24, 2016 | 08:34 pm PT
Canada allows French beef imports to continue after mad cow case
Canada will refrain from banning French beef imports even though a case of mad cow disease was confirmed at a farm in the European country, Ottawa said Thursday.

The decision came after the French Ministry of Agriculture said a lone case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, was found in the northeastern region of Ardennes.

Canada has evaluated the French beef inspection system and is confident the products are safe, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency told AFP.

Therefore, no actions on imports were required at this time, the agency said. 

French authorities had said it was probable that countries which last year reopened their borders to French beef exports -- Saudi Arabia, Canada, Singapore and Vietnam -- would close them again, but that they only represented a small volume of exports.

This was the first case of mad cow disease in France since 2011.

BSE is a brain-destroying disease that sparked a scare in the 1990s because it could also be transmitted to humans who ate infected beef.

The epidemic -- of which Britain was the epicenter -- was traced to the use of infected carcasses recycled for animal feed, prompting dozens of countries to strengthen veterinary controls.

The number of cases has plummeted, although isolated cases persist.

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