Russia suspends beef imports from Brazil's Para state after BSE case

The suspension covers live, fresh and processed beef
calendar icon 3 March 2023
clock icon 1 minute read

Russia has suspended imports of beef from Brazil's Para state after the confirmation of a bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease case there, according to a report in Valor Economico's online edition citing Russia's food security agency Rosselkhoznadzor.

The Brazilian agriculture ministry and Rosselkhoznadzor did not have an immediate comment on the ban, reported Reuters

The Valor report said the suspension was enforced on Wednesday and covers live animals, fresh and processed meat and by-products.

Brazil is investigating a case of BSE on a nine-year old male animal from Para state. Discovery of the case was communicated on Feb. 20 and triggered a self-imposed ban on Brazilian beef sales to China.

Tests are pending to determine whether the animal, which was destroyed, developed the classic or atypical form of the disease.

Atypical cases occur spontaneously in all cattle populations and do not depend on the ingestion of prion-contaminated feed. Classic BSE is considered more serious because it involves contamination by the prion protein, and could trigger wide trade bans.

Andrey Yurkov, Russia's agricultural attaché in Brazil, declined to say whether the Russian ban may be lifted if the Brazilian government confirms the case is atypical, according to Valor.

Brazilian beef trade groups Abiec and Abrafrigo did not immediately respond.

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