The United Arab Emirates has banned imports of frozen beef from France, Portugal and Switzerland as a precaution against "mad cow" disease, a newspaper reported Monday.
Gulf News said frozen beef from the three European countries had been removed from supermarkets on Saturday. A ban on British beef has already been in effect for the past year.
Neighbouring Oman on Saturday also slapped a ban on imports of cattle, beef and milk products from France, Ireland, Portugal and Switzerland.
Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as "mad cow" disease, was first spotted in Britain in 1986. Since then more than 80 people have died of a human form of the disease after consuming contaminated beef.
Two such deaths have been reported in France.
Public alarm in France erupted last month after it was revealed that meat from an infected herd had gone on sale. So far this year, France has registered at least 100 new cases of BSE, more than three times the figure for 1999 – DUBAI (AFP)
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