China has confirmed that it is lifting its import ban introduced 4 years ago on bovine and ovine genetic material from Denmark, France, Germany and the United Kingdom due to Schmallenberg virus.
The decision – preceded with joint efforts of various Commission services and EU Member States - was announced by the Chinese Minister of Agriculture Minister HAN Changfu during the visit of EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan to China this week (03/06/2016). The decision was announced by the Chinese Minister of Agriculture Minister HAN Changfu. The Commission welcomes the lifting of this ban that should now allow for real trade starting to take place rapidly and looks forward to seeing China opening its market for these safe products from the rest of the EU in the near future.
In May 2012, China introduced an import ban on imports of bovine semen, bovine embryos, ovine semen and ovine embryos produced after 1 June 2011 from several EU countries, referring to an alleged risk of Schmallenberg virus (SBV) which can cause birth defects and stillbirths in cattle, sheep and goats. This measure went beyond the international standards set by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), which considers that the virus does not meet the OIE requirements for setting an international standard, meaning therefore that trade measures for this disease are not required.