The suspension comes following a case of atypical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) being confirmed in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. The suspension adheres to the sanitary protocol settled between MAPA and the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.
According to MAPA, China is the only market to which Brazil will temporarily halt beef exports. Following an investigation of the BSE incident, MAPA determined the closure of the case without altering the Brazilian sanitary status, which is considered an insignificant risk for the disease. The OIE also stated that there would be no additional reports on the case.
MAPA reported that the animal in question was a beef cow aged 17 years. It said that all BSE-specific risk material was removed from the animal during emergency slaughter and incinerated at the slaughterhouse. Other products derived from the animal were identified, located and seized preventively, with no product entering the human food chain or ruminants. MAPA deemed there to be no risk to the population.
A statement on the situation from leading beef processor in the region Minerva, outlined the impact of the temporary halt. “Through its Brazilian operation, exports to Chinese market occurs only via Barretos plant, in São Paulo state, which has a daily slaughtering capacity of 840 head. However, Minerva's capacity to export to China via its subsidiary Athena Foods is 6.7 times higher than in Brazil, counting with three slaughter units in Uruguay which has a total daily slaughtering of 3,200 head and Rosario' plant in Argentina, that has a daily slaughtering capacity of 2,400 head.”
Minerva added that it believes that the suspension of Brazilian beef exports to China will be temporary and expects it to be recovered soon.