Brazil has lifted the temporary suspension of beef exports to China imposed in the wake of the discovery of a atypical case of mad cow disease in the state of Mato Grasso.

The removal of the ban by the South American country’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply was confirmed by Minerva and Marfrig Global Foods late yesterday (13 June), two companies among Brazil’s largest meat processors.

Minerva was one company to announce on 4 June the case of atypical form of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, had been detected in Mato Grasso, with the suspension initiated on the basis of a “sanitary protocol” agreement previously reached between the ministry and the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine. 

BSE had reportedly been discovered in a 17-year-old cow on May 31. The case was considered atypical as the animal contracted the BSE protein spontaneously, rather than through the feed supply. 

Earlier this week, Minerva said it was temporarily closing its Barretos plant, located in the state of Sao Paulo, for “preventive maintenance purposes” to coincide with the suspension, with employees set to be put on vacation from 17 June to 30 June while the work was carried out. The site is the only one of the company’s facilities exporting beef to China.

However, those plans have now been cancelled as a result of the suspension being lifted, Minerva said in a statement yesterday.

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By GlobalData

Meanwhile, Marfrig said sanitary certificates for exports to China are now being issued normally.