Mexico still discards the possibility of importing beef from countries such as Argentina and Uruguay in spite of the fact that it has closed borders with its main supplier the United States, after an outbreak of mad cow or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, BSE, was confirmed in the state of Washington close to the Canadian border.
"We still have to certify the sanitary conditions of both countries. Until we don't have that clear, we can't contemplate the possibility of importing beef from these countries", said Javier Usabiaga head of the Agriculture Secretary.
"Real chances of importing are from those countries with which we have established sanitary agreements such as Chile, New Zealand and Australia. In the case of Uruguay we're in that process and expect to have it accomplishes in the first quarter of this year", added Mr. Usabiaga.
According to the latest cattle census Mexico has 27 million head, including beef and dairy. The country imports annually 400,000 of beef mainly from the United States and Canada.
Since the BES case was reported in the US just before Christmas, over thirty countries have banned the import of American beef.
The dairy cattle with BES detected in Washington State was originally purchased in Canada.