Qatar joins Gulf ban on European beef imports
Qatar on Sunday announced a ban on beef imports from the European Union over fears of "mad cow" disease, following the example of its Gulf neighbors.
Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands are Qatar's main suppliers of meat.
The Gulf states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates periodically suspend meat imports from European and some African countries when news surfaces of a disease or epidemic affecting cattle.
Kuwait has imposed an indefinite ban on beef imports from all European countries last week because of fears of mad cow disease. The decision was taken by the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources which, in August, banned the import of cattle and animal products from France for the same reason, Al-Qabas said.
Kuwait last month banned beef imports from France, Ireland, Portugal and Switzerland because of mad cow disease. The last shipment of 120 cows entered Kuwait from Denmark in November.
Last year, some 1,500 cows were imported by Kuwait from Europe and Australia.
Earlier this month, Qatar urged the Gulf oil monarchies to reach a consensus on meat imports after Saudi Arabia banned EU beef and mutton. Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates also banned EU beef imports. — (AFP, Doha, Kuwait City)
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