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Friday June 4, 7:42 am Eastern Time

Dutch slap import ban on Belgian meat, livestock

AMSTERDAM, June 4 (Reuters) - The Dutch government on Friday imposed an import ban on Belgian livestock, meat and products due to fears of contamination from cancer-causing dioxin.

``Government leaders took action to put in place the measures after reports of the Belgian dioxin affair became more confused and also gave more cause for concern,'' a government statement said.

Health Minister Els Borst presented a set of measures to ban the import of Belgian livestock as well as their slaughter in the Netherlands, it said.

The regulations also make illegal the import of Belgian meat as well as dairy products, the brief statement added.

Belgian pork exports to the Netherlands last year were worth 37 million guilders, lamb imports were worth 22 million guilders but very little dairy products came from Belgium, Dutch news agency ANP said.

The European Union on Wednesday imposed emergency measures to trace and destroy all Belgian chicken and eggs contaminated by dioxin and their by-products.

EU safety measures subsequently spead to pork on Thursday and diary products on Friday after it was feared that dioxin tainted animal feed had also been fed to pigs and cattle.


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