São Paulo – Saudi Arabia has lifted the ban on beef imports from five beef plants in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA) told ANBA. The clearance came into force on Thursday (16), the Ministry said.
The Ministry reported that Saudi Arabia had announced the ban on September 6 following an atypical case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as mad cow disease, in the state. But ten days later the ban was lifted, Saudi health authorities told MAPA.
Earlier this month, the ministry detected two atypical cases of mad cow disease, one in the state of Mato Grosso and the other in Minas Gerais. The Ministry released a press statement explaining that the atypical cases occur spontaneously and sporadically and are unrelated to the ingestion of contaminated food and pose no risk to human or animal health. There have never been any records of classic mad cow diseases in Brazil, MAPA said.
According to Brazilian beef exporting group Abiec, Saudi Arabia was the ninth largest international destination of beef from Brazil year to date through August. The country purchased 25,400 tonnes for USD 117 million. Egypt and the United Arab Emirates buy even larger volumes from Brazil, but, when asked by ANBA on suspensions from other Arab countries, MAPA reported none besides the Saudi ban.
Translated by Guilherme Miranda