Morocco brought in 2,000 cattle from Brazil in March, and Mohamed Sadiki, minister of agriculture, announced today that 3,000 more livestock will be sent in shortly.
Appearing as a guest at a symposium organized by the MAP agency, the minister claimed that Morocco has so far imported roughly 20,000 cattle in an effort to lower meat prices, which have seen an unheard-of increase over the past few weeks.
He claimed that due to widespread public anxiety over Brazilian beef following a recent mad cow disease scare that Brazil reported to the World Health Organization, it sells for 65–67 dh in marketplaces.
Just a month ago, a case of the illness, known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, was discovered on a tiny farm in the Amazonian state of Pará, prompting an embargo from many nations, including Brazil’s largest customer, China.
The largest beef producer in the world, Brazil, confirmed the case was found at a farm with 160 cattle, claiming the signs were those of an unusual incidence of the illness, which arises spontaneously in older cows and is less harmful and contagious.
Since then, China has restarted imports of Brazilian beef, although it has stated that it will quarantine and analyze the meat before allowing it to be sold in stores.
Before meat is delivered to markets, livestock will also undergo safety and quality inspections, according to Sadiki.
Claims that imported cows were infected with mad cow disease, he claimed, are “not true.”
The majority of Morocco’s imports have come from France and Spain, but because to the “exorbitant price of the herd in Europe,” he claimed, the government has turned to Brazil for imports because of the “cheap price.”
To boost the supply of cattle intended for slaughter from Europe and Latin America, Morocco eliminated customs duties and value-added tax.
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