In response to the Ministry for Agriculture in Madrid deciding to close Spain's borders to French and Irish beef as the “mad cow” scare escalates, the Balearic Ministry for Agriculture is to introduce strict controls on French and Irish beef imported to the Balearics. In accordance with the ruling in Madrid, the sanitary controls which are carried out on any movement of meat either in or out of Balearic ports will also be tightened restricting the entry of breeding cattle or males over one year old. Sources for the Balearic Ministry for Agriculture yesterday stressed that the amount of beef imported from France and Ireland is minimal, so it will be very easy for the authorities to detect and control movement of all targeted beef. This latest food scare in Europe, sparked two weeks ago when several supermarket chains announced they had sold beef potentially contaminated with BSE, has shattered consumer confidence in France where meat is at the heart of the dining experience. The action taken by Spain and seconded by the Balearics has fuelled beef panic in France.

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