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Business

DA lifts cattle ban on Germany, Canada

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) has lifted the temporary ban on cattle imports from Germany and Canada, which were earlier imposed due to the mad cow disease.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar issued separate orders lifting the temporary ban, which covers the importation of live cattle, meat and meat products, and bovine processed animal proteins derived from cattle.

The ban on Germany was issued in November due to reported cases of atypical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in the municipality of Kraiburg.

On the other hand, the ban on Canadian cattle imports was issued in December due to the detection of the disease in Ponoka County, Alberta.

Dar said the Philippines requested several documentary requirements from the veterinary authorities of Germany and Canada regarding the profile of BSE positive animals, disease response measures on these outbreaks and their national BSE surveillance activities.

He said the two countries have provided their respective supporting documents regarding the immediate and timely response after the detection of one atypical BSE case, extensive national BSE surveillance program and activities to maintain the negligible BSE risk status.

Dar emphasized that based on the relevant information provided by Germany and Canada, there is satisfactory evidence to show that the risk of importation of cattle and its related commodities is negligible and the countries continue to be officially recognized by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) with negligible BSE risk status.

In line with the lifting of the temporary ban, Dar has set a number of conditions that need to be certified by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CIFA) and the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

Among these are ensuring that imports of boneless beef except meat from head, industrial, sangria and neck meat are sourced from cattle of all ages devoid of any nerves and other BSE-specified risk materials (SRM).

He said that boneless beef should come only from healthy ambulatory and not downer cattle.

In addition, the slaughter date of the cattle or the production date of beef should be included in the packaging label.

The memorandum orders were signed on Jan. 25 and were effective immediately.

In an administrative order dated Jan. 25., Dar extended the validity of sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances for imported meat from 60 days to 90 days, due to global logistical and supply chain issues brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This temporary extension will be effective from [the] date of signing to Dec. 31, 2022,”Dar said.

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

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