Japan halts Brazilian beef imports

Japan has halted beef imports from Brazil after the South American nation notified the World Animal Health Organization (OIE) that a cow that died two years ago did have the protein linked to BSE. The pasture-fed animal did not have BSE and died of other causes, tissue samples were tested by the OIE in England and they contained the prion. Reuters reports an OIE official confirmed the animal did not die of BSE and may have had “atypical BSE” which can occur spontaneously from a genetic mutation in older cattle. The suspect cow was 13 years old and used for breeding purposes.

Japan cut-off imports once notified of the prion, Brazil says there is no reason for the ban and says it will pursue legal action if Japan doesn’t reopen the border. Japan purchased 1,435 tonnes of beef from Brazil in 2011.

Russia is reportedly also considering suspending beef shipments from Brazil.

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