Thailand May Suspend U.S. Beef Imports on Mad Cow, USMEF Says

Thailand, which bought less than 0.1 percent of total U.S. beef exports in 2011, may suspend imports from the U.S. after the first case of mad cow in six years, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation.

While Thailand has not “officially informed” the government that it is suspending U.S. access to its market, the Denver-based federation informed its members that closure is a “strong possibility,” said Joe Schuele, a spokesman for the group. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on April 24 that a dairy cow in California was infected with mad cow disease, the nation’s fourth case and the first since 2006.

“We’ve alerted our members that it’s a possibility that it will be closing,” Schuele said in a telephone interview. “We’re not certain it’s going to happen. We would prefer to see people err on the side of caution. If you send product and the market closes while it’s in route, that can be a big problem.”

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