The Philippines Department of Agriculture (DA) lifted an eight-year-old ban on meat and bone meal imports from the United States after the World Animal Health Organization officially recognized the U.S. as “Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) controlled risk.”

BSE, also known as mad cow disease, is a fatal, neurodegenerative disease that can afflict cattle. The disease is transmitted when cattle ingest the remains of infected cattle. 

The World Animal Health Organization’s controlled risk classification indicates that there has been no case of BSE or, if there has been a case, every case of BSE has been demonstrated to have been imported and has been completely destroyed, according to a memo from the DA, which also noted additional restrictions placed on cattle feed in the US as a critical factor. 

DA Secretary Arthur Yap said his agency also confirmed that “Meat and bone meal (MBM) and other animal protein products are regulated and verified by the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] for compliance with BSE-related regulations and chemical residue tolerances.”

The US currently exports MBM to Indonesia, Canada, Europe, South Africa, Malaysia, China, Mexico, Ecuador, Bangladesh, Thailand and Vietnam.