Lebanon Bans Imports of Cattle from Brazilian State

Agriculture Minister Hussein al-Hajj Hassan banned on Wednesday the import of livestock from the southern Brazilian state of Parana where a case of atypical mad cow disease was confirmed last month.

Al-Hajj Hassan banned as well the import of frozen meat from Parana.

Brazil is the world's largest supplier of beef.

Several other countries have suspended imports of Brazilian beef, including Jordan, South Korea, China, Japan, South Africa, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

The halt in the Brazilian imports came in connection with an atypical case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) that was detected in an animal that died in 2010 in Parana.

More than 200 people around the world are believed to have died, most of them in Britain, from the human variant of the disease, which was first described in 1996.

Scientists believe the disease was caused by using infected parts of cattle to make feed for other cattle.

Authorities believe eating meat from infected animals can trigger the human variant of the fatal brain-wasting disease.

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