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China Lifts Ban on Bovine, Ovine Products from Denmark, France, Germany and UK

08 June 2016

CHINA - China has confirmed that it is lifting its import ban introduced four years ago on bovine & ovine genetic material from Denmark, France, Germany and United Kingdom due to Schmallenberg virus.

The decision – preceded with joint efforts of various Commission services and EU Member States - was announced by the Chinese Minister of Agriculture Minister HAN Changfu during the visit of EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan to China this week.

The decision was announced by the Chinese Minister of Agriculture Minister HAN Changfu.

Speaking after the meeting, Commissioner Hogan said: "The Commission together with EU Member States and EU business have been working towards re-opening of the Chinese market for exports of bovine and ovine genetic material from all EU countries interested in exports and we welcome the lifting of this ban that should allow now for real trade starting to take place rapidly. We look forward to seeing China opening its market for these safe products from the rest of the EU in the near future."

In May 2012, China introduced an import ban on imports of bovine semen, bovine embryo, ovine semen and ovine embryo produced after 1 June 2011 from several EU countries, referring to an alleged risk of Schmallenberg virus (SBV) which can cause birth defects and stillbirths in cattle, sheep, and goats.

This measure went beyond the international standards set by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), which considers that the virus does not meet the OIE requirements for setting an international standard, meanings therefore that trade measures for this disease are not required.

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