Korean experts will inspect more than half of the 42 U.S. cattle ranches that export beef to Korea in efforts to come to grips with a recent outbreak of mad cow disease in the U.S.
An official with the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on Sunday said, "We decided to send a team of 10 inspectors mainly from the Animal, Plant and Fisheries Quarantine and Inspection Agency to the U.S. in mid-June to check sanitary conditions at cattle ranches there."
Korea has the right to conduct these on-site inspections under a bilateral agreement on sanitary requirements for beef imports from the U.S. and has been conducting them every year, but this year the number of ranches is much bigger.
"Until last year, a team of five or six inspectors looked at about 10 of the 42 ranches, but that’s been increased," the official added, apparently to calm resurgent fears about beef imports from the U.S. here.
The inspection also comes four months earlier than in previous years.