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Wednesday, 10 June 1970

Mr ANTHONY - At the moment the Americans have placed a total ban on all mutton to the United States and Canadian markets. They have applied this ban because of the very high rejection rate that was involved in the first 4 months of this year when almost 1 million lb was rejected on the grounds that it did not conform with the Wholesome Meat Act of the United States, that it did not come up to the standard of cleanliness and that there were certain organisms in the meat which they did not allow but which we have always considered harmless. The organisms are cysticercus ovis and caseaus lymph adenitis, which is the one that is causing the Canadians most concern. The only way we can guarantee in many of these cases that the carcass has not been affected is by doing an examination of the viscera with the carcass as it proceeds along the line after being killed and cleaned and there are very few abattoirs where this takes place. It involves certain complications and we do not have many abattoirs that meet this standard. Until we can get a fair number of abattoirs meeting the requirements of these countries I think it is unlikely that they will lift the ban. But we are negotiating with them to1 try to enable those abattoirs which have improved their standards and which meet their requirements to export, though for the time being we cannot seem to get this out of them.

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