BSE in Japan?Tuesday, Sep 11, 2001
News today that BSE had been identified in a Japanese cow shows how vulnerable NZ is to such an outbreak.
Focus has rightly been on the importance of preventing the importation of beef products from Europe
but it appears as though a further risk separate to the direct introduction the disease into the human
population may arise from those NZer’swho have spent time in Europe in the past 25 years.
While cross boarder animal BSE infection risk may be well managed it will be an interesting exercise
in overseas consumer behaviour should the disease occur in a NZer as a result of overseas travel.
It seems there are some risks that just cannot be managed away.
Meanwhile the Japanese infection presents another potential disruption to the international trade in
beef. Will Japanese consumers be turned away from beef altogether or will it just redirect demand
to beef sourced from regions that can be assumed to be BSE free?
BSE is just another un predictable variable in the long term viability of beef production.