Mexico Halts US Beef, Cattle Imports
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican officials said Wednesday they have halted all imports from the United States of beef and live cattle following the country's first potential case of mad cow disease.
"The ban could be in place for a day or one month," Javier Trujillo, head of the Agriculture Ministry's animal health commission, told Reuters in a telephone interview. "It could be a long time as everything will depend on the investigation."
"We told our officials on the border yesterday (Tuesday), but it was not the time of day for imports so we are applying it from today (Wednesday)," Trujillo said.
Trujillo said about 30 percent of beef consumed in Mexico was imported, half of that from the United States. He gave no figures in terms of weight, import value or domestic consumption levels.
The official said live cattle imports were not numerous and were only carried out for local abattoirs close to the U.S.-Mexico border. Mexico has a 2,000-mile border with the United States.
Trujillo said a team of cattle and beef experts were evaluating the impact of the mad cow scare on Mexico.
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