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Japan scraps mad cow import restrictions on US beef

Ban removal boosts access for American ranchers but trade hurdles remain

Japan has lifted all age restrictions on imports of beef from the U.S., Canada and Ireland,.    © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan abolished Friday all age restrictions on imported U.S. beef that had been imposed to combat the affliction known as mad cow disease.

To prevent a domestic outbreak of the disease formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, Japan had banned beef imports from cattle older than 30 months. Similar restrictions were also lifted on imports from Canada and Ireland.

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