It is too soon to be able to forecast when the US ban on imports of Canadian beef will be lifted, according to a top US Department of Agriculture official.

The US banned on 20 May the import of Canadian beef and related products following the discovery of a solitary case of mad cow disease in the Canadian state of Alberta.

“While the investigation is ongoing, while there are still active trace outs, additional substantive test results yet to come, we think it would be inappropriate to for us to evaluate or make any determination about lifting any restriction that had been put in place,” US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service deputy administrator of veterinary services Ron Dehaven was quoted by Reuters as saying.