Egypt has banned imports of beef or cattle from five European countries to guard against mad cow disease, an Egyptian official said in remarks published Sunday.
The decision affects imports from Britain, France, Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland, president of the Authority for Veterinary Services, Hassan Eidaros, told the government Al-Akhbar newspaper.
"An embargo is the best way of preventing contaminated meat," he said, adding that other countries could continue selling beef to Egypt pieces that had not been cut near the pancreas or intestines.
Egypt imports around 600,000 head of cattle a year from various countries including Australia, China and India, Eidaros said.
In the meantime, Morocco has imposed an indefinite ban on all imports of live cattle to protect the country from mad cow disease, officials announced Sunday.
Imports of sperm and cattle embryos from Britain, France, Ireland, Portugal and Switzerland were also banned.
Morocco has also set up a medical team under the ministry of public health to monitor the nation's herds for signs of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).
So far no case of mad cow disease or its human variant Creutzfeld-Jakob disease has been detected in Morocco.
Imports of meat from purebred cattle aged less than two years will be authorize - (AFP)
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