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    Cow Disease: Morocco Suspends Cattle Imports From UK, Northern Ireland

    The country’s new measure took effect starting January 5.

    11 Jan 2023

    Rabat - Morocco has decided to suspend imports of cattle and cattle meat from the UK and Northern Ireland in a bid to avoid the outbreak of any type of diseases related to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) also known as the “mad cow disease.”

    A recent notice from Morocco’s Customs and Indirect Tax Administration (ADII) indicates that the Moroccan decision comes into effect starting January 2023.

    Along with the notice, the customs office published a chart featuring “all products that will not be imported into Morocco in the year of 2023 due to cattle health status in the UK and Northern Ireland (mad cow disease).”

    The list includes domestic calves, domestic bulls, beef intended for classified hotels and restaurants, normal beef, a s well as sausages and similar products of meat, and offal, among others.

    The mad cow disease also known as BSE is a disease that affects cattle, sheep, and goats' brain.

    The disease is fatal to humans who eat meat from infected cattle.

    The Moroccan announcement comes amid a lack of information about the status of cattle health in the two regions affected by the suspension.

    The UK’s Food Standards Agency has not updated its alert on BSE since December 2017.

    According to the agency, the UK has been putting “strict controls” to protect citizens from the disease since the 1980s.

    “These reduce the risk of eating beef or meat products that might be infected with BSE,” it said.

    Morocco and the UK recently signed an Association Agreement, under which the two countries pledged to strengthen cooperation at all levels, including trade.

    The two countries signed the Association Agreement in 2019 to maintain their partnership in a wide range of sectors after Brexit.

    According to data from the UK Department for International Trade, the total trade in goods and services between the two countries reached £2.7 billion “in the four quarters to the end of Q2” of last year.


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