CHINA has officially lifted the ban on beef imports and exports with South Africa.

The ban was lifted on 23 July after it was imposed on 21 February by the World Organisation for Animal Health.

China officially announced the removal of the ban on Tuesday at their embassy.

This allows cloven-hoof animals and related products from South Africa – except Limpopo, Ehlanzeni in Mpumalanga, and the Umkhanyakude in KZN – to be exported to China.

China’s ambassador to South Africa, Lin Songtian, said the Chinese government had already lifted the ban on wool and animal skins on 8 May.

In January, South Africa experienced foot and mouth disease outbreak in parts of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KZN.

The ambassador said they regard Mzansi as strategically important and a priority in its foreign policy.

“We support each other on issues of core interests and major concerns for the benefits of each other,” he said.

“We have toured to some of the affected areas and local abattoirs and discussed the matter with our government.”

He said China sent experts to Mzansi to study the situation.

“We’re the largest consumer of South Africa’s beef, wool and skin products.”