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|Friday, March 02, 2001, updated at 09:29(GMT+8)|
China Bans Imports of British Meat ProductsThe Ministry of Agriculture and the State Administration for Entry-exit Inspection and Quarantine issued a circular Thursday to ban imports of British cloven-hooved animals and products.
The circular was made to close the door against foot-and-mouth disease, which was found in southeast Britain on February 20, causing mass panic.
Any British cloven-hooved animals -- such as cows, pigs and sheep -- and products that have already arrived in China or have been brought in by tourists must be returned or destroyed, the circular said.
If such animals or products are found on any international ships, planes or trains that pass or stay in China, the vehicles will be sealed up.
All means of transport from Britain will receive epidemic prevention and disinfection treatment under the supervision of the entry-exit inspection and quarantine authorities, according to the circular.
The circular calls on all related departments to co-operate in quarantine and epidemic prevention.
China also bans imports of cloven-hooved animals from Myanmar, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and other countries which have seen outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease, according to an official from the State Administration for Entry-exit Inspection and Quarantine.
Xinhua reported on Wednesday that the disease had occurred in pigs in Hong Kong during the winter, and had killed more than 460 pigs between November and January.
The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department of Hong Kong said the disease has been controlled using vaccination and there is no evidence to suggest it was more serious this year than in previous years, according to the Xinhua report.
Foot-and-mouth disease, one of the most persistent and ancient viruses on Earth, is deadly to cloven-hoofed animals, causing mouths and feet to blister.
Source: China Daily
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