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Last Updated: Friday, 26 December, 2003, 11:10 GMT
More nations ban US beef imports
Sunny Dene Ranch, Mabton, Washington state, US
The farm where BSE was discovered has been quarantined
Vietnam and Macau have become the latest countries to ban imports of US beef after America's first case of mad cow disease was confirmed.

They join more than 20 other nations and territories who have already slapped bans on beef from the US.

On Thursday, US officials confirmed that BSE had been discovered in a dairy cow from Washington state.

The animal is believed to have contracted the disease after eating contaminated feed.

The case of BSE, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, was established beyond doubt after tests by British scientists backed up earlier findings by their US counterparts.

Experts have predicted the news will cost the previously-booming US cattle industry billions of dollars, as countries around the world rush to ban American beef imports.

Economic impact

The list already includes Japan, Mexico and South Korea - the three top importers of US beef.

The European Union has banned most US beef for many years because of growth hormones.

First surfaced mid-1980s
Can pass to humans through infected beef products
Human form of disease called vCJD
vCJD has killed 137 people, mainly in the UK

The US dollar and Japanese stock markets have fallen since the suspected case was announced, while cattle futures slumped as far as markets allow.

Shares in McDonald's have fallen by about 5% on the New York Stock Exchange, although the burger giant said its supply chain was not linked to the suspected case.

The US Department of Agriculture said it would issue more information about the test results later on Friday.

BSE has been linked to new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), a human brain-wasting disease.

First diagnosed in Britain in 1986, BSE affected 178,000 British cattle and resulted in the eventual destruction of 3.7 million animals.

It cost British farming billions of pounds as countries around the world banned British beef.

US races to find 'mad cow' source
25 Dec 03  |  Americas
US beef industry holds its breath
24 Dec 03  |  Business
Russia suspends US beef imports
24 Dec 03  |  Europe
Q&A: US 'mad cow' scare
24 Dec 03  |  Americas
Asia suspends US beef imports
24 Dec 03  |  Asia-Pacific
US statement on 'mad cow' case
24 Dec 03  |  Americas
Canada reports mad cow case
20 May 03  |  Americas

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