Pretoria, July 31 (IANS) South Africa has resumed beef exports to China after the latter lifted a ban that was imposed after an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in January.
The Chinese Ambassador to South Africa Lin Songtian said on Tuesday in a press briefing that the Chinese government lifted the ban on July 23, making it possible for South Africa to resume beef export to China, the Xinhua news agency reported.
Early this year, there was an outbreak of FMD in the country and it lost the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) status as the FMD free zone.
Lin said the Chinese government had sent experts to South Africa to check on the FMD situations. He also called on the OIE to speed up their assessment of the country so that other countries could also resume importing beef from South Africa.
According to an update from Chinese customs and agriculture authorities issued on July 23, only selective regions in South Africa are allowed to export beef to China, and they exclude Limpopo province, the Ehlanzeni district of Mpumalanga province and Umkhanyakude district of KwaZulu-Natal province.
Lin said: “China is committed to supporting the South African government’s efforts led by President Ramaphosa to boost the economy to create jobs and improve the people’s livelihood”.