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Dec 30, 2003

Belize temporarily bans U.S. beef

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Connoisseurs of imported steaks will have to sharpen their teeth and settle for the local variety…at least for the near future. In the wake of the discovery of Mad Cow disease in the United States, officials of the Belize Agricultural Health Authority have, since December twenty-fourth, instituted a temporary ban on imports of U.S. beef. BAHA will closely monitor the situation, which has implications for both public and animal health, to see how widespread the U.S. outbreak may prove to be. Belize is more than self-sufficient in cattle production and only a small amount of U.S. beef is imported, largely prime cuts for the tourist trade. Belizean ranchers have been enjoying an unprecedented period of high prices and strong demand, with a growing export trade to neighbouring Guatemala. The latest crisis on U.S. ranches should not alter that situation.

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