Vietnam to lift ban on French beef after 16 years

Thanh Nien News

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Beef on sale at a supermarket in Vietnam. File photo Beef on sale at a supermarket in Vietnam. File photo

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The central government has instructed relevant agencies to lift a ban on French beef over 16 years after Europe's mad cow epidemic inspired the restriction.
Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai instructed the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to issue the directive according to a government release.
The ministry will have to coordinate with relevant agencies and French exporters to solve possible problems and create favorable conditions for bilateral beef deals.
Hai also instructed the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to work with French agencies to begin apple imports.
The Ministry responded that it is awaiting relevant data from France.
Vietnam banned French cattle and beef imports on March 6, 1998, when mad cow disease was sweeping through Europe.
Scientists suspect the disease is linked to a similar fatal brain-wasting disease that occurs in humans called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD).
In 2008, the World Organization for Animal Health announced that France had successfully gotten mad cow disease under control.
France has since exported beef to Brazil, the US, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.
In 2011, relevant agencies in France asked the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to lift the ban.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam consumes about 4,000 cows a day.
Most of those cows come from domestic farms as well as farms in Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and (increasingly) Australia.
Australian cattle imports increased from 3,000 cows in 2012 to 67,000 last year and 120,000 in the first seven months of this year.
Vietnam has surpassed China to become Australia’s second-largest cow importer after Indonesia.

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