Asia/Japan BSE Timeline

1996: Japan starts testing 200-400 BSE samples per year through 2001.

1997: Japan bans live cattle and MBM1 imports from the United Kingdom.

2001: Finds first BSE case, starts 100 percent testing, bans MBM/live-cattle imports from BSE countries and expands feed ban.

2005: Japan confirms 20th case of BSE. In late 2005, Japan eases ban on Canadian and United States beef allowing cattle younger than 21 months with heads and spinal cords removed.

2010: Taiwan approves first shipment of bone-in-beef since 2005 BSE ban. Australia lifts nine-year BSE ban and begins importing whole muscle beef and beef products.

2012: Japan anticipated to expand age requirements to 30 months of age, which will increase United States cattle eligible for export from 22 percent to 95 percent of the market.


1: Meat and bone meal (MBM) from BSE-infected cattle used as a protein supplement in cattle feed is believed to cause the spread of BSE.
2: MBM imports from United Kingdom were banned by Canada in 1978 for reasons other than BSE prevention.
3: The European Commission's Food and Veterinary Office (FVO).
4: General Accounting Office 2002 report, which identified potential steps for strengthening the United States feed ban firewall.

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