Government officials in Japan and the US will this week work on a deal that should allow the import of Canadian beef into the US.

The US and Japan both banned imports of Canadian beef when a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was discovered in a cow in Alberta earlier this year. While the US admits that Canadian beef, it is reluctant to allow entry across the border for fear of jeopardising its relationship with Japan, the largest importer of US beef.

Japan is seeking reassurance that any beef it buys from the US will not have come into contact with Canadian cattle, so the two parties are working on a system of segregation, reports The Canadian Press.