PETALING JAYA: A temporary ban on the import of beef from the United States has been imposed after the US reported its first suspected case of mad cow disease, Veterinary Services Department Director-General Datuk Dr Hawari Hussein said.
“The ban takes effect immediately to protect consumers as the disease is a health risk to humans,” he said yesterday.
Dr Hawari said the ban would not affect Malaysia’s supply of beef as US imports only made up about 0.3% of the total imports.
“Malaysia’s main supply of beef comes from India and Australia, so the effect of the ban will be very little,” he said.
Asked when the ban would be lifted, Dr Hawari said the department would monitor the situation and react accordingly.
US Embassy public affairs counsellor Karl Stoltz said the United States would be working closely with local authorities to ensure restoration of public confidence in its beef products.
To a question, he said beef imports from the United States were small as Malaysia relied on other sources, adding that Malaysia’s demand for US beef comprised specialty products.