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Taiwan lifts ban on Japanese beef 16 years after mad cow disease discovered

Wagyu beef

Beef from Japan will finally be imported by Taiwan some 16 years after a ban was introduced following the discovery of mad cow disease.

A statement on the country’s Food and Drug Administration website appeared to confirm the lifting of similar bans on Dutch and Swedish cattle imports. Taiwan expects to start importing Japanese beef from mid-October.

It is bad news for exporters from Australia and especially the US, who account for 95% of all Taiwanese beef imports. However, even before the ban was imposed, Japan was a small exporter to Taiwan with only four tons being shipped across in 2000.

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Other countries have had their bans lifted over the years, including the US, which recently secured entry into the Chinese market once again following President Trump’s visit to the country. Paraguay, New Zealand, Australia and Canada are among the other nations to be cleared to export to China’s neighbour.

Taiwan did attached some strings to the deal with Japan, namely that cows are slaughtered at government certified facilities and traceable to farms where they were born and raised for more than 100 days.

Japanese wagyu beef is believed to be among the best quality meat in the world, carrying with it an extremely high price tag.