The government newspaper Al Akhbar revealed on Sunday that the decision had been made by Egyptian officials to ban imports of cattle and beef from five European countries in a bid to prevent the spread of mad cow disease.

The president of the Veterinary Authority revealed that the decision will apply to countries which have experienced BSE; France, Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK.

Other countries may continue to export meat to Egypt as long as this meat is not cut near the pancreas or intestines, and does not contain neural matter.