British beef will make its return to China after 22 years, according to Prime Minister Theresa May who is on a state visit to that country.
The move is likely to inject vigor to the UK’s animal husbandry industry, experts said.
May said in Beijing that China will ease its import ban on UK beef and dairy products, and the new agreement will be enforced within six months.
Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease, swept through the UK in 1996, when thousands of British cattle were infected and slaughtered.
BSE is a transmissible, slowly progressive and fatal disease affecting the central nervous system of adult cattle.
UK beef imports were blocked by European Community countries, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and more than 30 countries and regions.
The disease inflicted serious damage on the UK economy, threatening its cattle rearing sector. The UK suffered beef import losses worth ￡500 million and widened the country’s trade deficit.
Aside from China, the US and Japan are also considering lifting similar import bans on British beef.
(Compiled by Liu Wenbo)