June 4, 2019
Brazil stops beef exports to China following mad cow disease case in Mato Grosso
Brazil has temporarily suspended beef exports to China after an atypical case of mad cow disease was reported in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, the country agriculture ministry announced on June 3.
The case was considered "atypical" as the animal - a 17-year-old cow - contracted the BSE protein spontaneously, rather than through the feed supply.
China is Brazil's biggest beef importer by sales, having spent US$1.5 billion on the country's beef in 2018, totaling 322,400 tonnes or close to 20% of all shipments, according to local beef exporters association Abiec.
A representative of a top exporter told Reuters that the suspension was imposed as of the start of this week, when the government officially stopped the issuance of international health certificates. A ministry spokeswoman said the move stemmed from a bilateral health protocol signed by both China and Brazil in 2015.
Nevertheless, the suspension is expected to end soon as Brazil is considered mad cow disease-free by the World Organization for Animal Health.