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17.06.2004 General News

Beef import ban from some EU countries still in place

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Accra, June 17, GNA - The Ministry of Trade and Industry and Presidential Special Initiatives on Thursday said that the ban on import of beef products from some specific European Union countries is still in place though it has been lifted on some specific countries. Countries still under the ban include Belgium, Portugal, Denmark, Netherlands and Germany.

Mr Kwesi Nyame-Baafi, Coordinator of imports at the Ministry told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that the ban on beef products from Italy would be lifted on July 1 this year, while that of Spain, United Kingdom, France have already been lifted.

He said the Ministry in collaboration with the Veterinary Services Department, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture have been satisfied that these products were free from Bovine Spongiform Encephalapathy (BSE), which is often referred to as mad cow disease.

The Ministry in November 2000 banned the importation of beef from Europe following the outbreak of Mad Cow Disease, which affects the human brain after eating contaminated beef.

Mr Nyame-Baafi reiterated that any importer would be required however, to acquire an import permit from the veterinary services before any transaction.

He noted that in respect of Italy, only animals slaughtered after May 1 this year could be imported.

Mr Nyame-Baafi said that it would be difficult for anyone to bring meat or poultry products into the country without due approval since all agents involved have been duly educated and that any such imports could only be brought in through smuggling.

He also reiterated the ban of poultry products from 10 Asian countries namely, Japan, China, Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand.

The rest are Vietnam, Pakistan, Laos and Cambodia.

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