Bern follows Brussels in beef ban

Switzerland has joined the European Union in suspending all beef imports from Brazil.

This content was published on January 31, 2008 - 12:12

A spokesman for the Federal Veterinary Office told Swiss radio on Thursday that the temporary ban would come into effect immediately, after Brazil had failed to provide safety guarantees.

The EU Commission took its decision after inspections last November found Brazil's animal health and traceability systems failed to meet EU requirements.

The Veterinary Office spokesman, Marcel Falk, said there were not only problems identifying the origins of animals for slaughter but also beef used in other products.

In 2006, Brazilian producers accounted for 70 per cent – or 13,000 tons - of all Swiss beef imports.

Falk said it was now up to the Brazilian authorities to provide the data required by the EU and Switzerland.

Switzerland banned the import of cows' intestines from Brazil last year, in response to fears over Mad Cow Disease.

The intestines are used to encase the country's most popular sausage, the Cervelat, and the Swiss meat industry has admitted difficulty finding a suitable replacement.

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