Japan Eases Beef Import Restrictions24 January 2013
JAPAN - Japan is to relax restrictions on the imports of American and French beef that had been imposed because of fears over BSE.
Government officials announced this week that it will raise the age limit of cattle for meat imports from 20 months to 30 months.
Japan was once the largest buyer of US beef but put a block on imports after a case of BSE was reported in an American herd in 2003.
At present Japan allows imports of meat only from cattle aged under 20 months.
Plans to raise the limit to 30 months could come in on 1 February, according to a report in Japan Today.
Japan will also use the same age limit to beef imported from France, which was previously banned completely.
Japan is also talking to the Dutch government to set an age restriction of up to 12 months for Dutch beef, which is totally banned at present.
TheMeatSite News Desk