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S'pore bans British meat imports

By Valarie Tan, Channel NewsAsia
04 August 2007 2137 hrs

SINGAPORE: The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) has banned meat imports from the United Kingdom with immediate effect.

The move follows an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease on a farm near London.

The ban includes pork, mutton and beef but canned pork and lamb products are not affected as the canning process is able to deactivate the virus that causes the foot-and-mouth disease.

Similar bans have also been taken by the European Union while Japan has also added British pork imports to its existing ban on British beef.

Some 60 animals on the UK farm had tested positive for the disease, and a 3-kilometre protection zone had been placed around the premises.

The AVA says the foot-and-mouth disease cannot be transmitted to humans through eating meat and that it does not pose a food safety risk.

It is more an animal health concern issue.

The infection is air-borne and animals usually get infected through contaminated infected livestock products and contact with the infected animals.

The AVA also says that the current ban from UK is to protect Singapore's foot-and-mouth disease-free status and the agri-business trade.

The ban would not affect Singapore's trade with the UK significantly as beef imports have long been suspended due to the BSE, also known as the Mad Cow Disease. - CNA/ir