Sheep-borne diseases affect trade flows as each country protects its flock from real or perceived diseases in trading partner's flocks. One of the most recent epidemics affecting trade flows was the outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, and The Netherlands in 2001.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service monitors trade issues related to animal or plant health. In May 2003, a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was found in a Canadian cow. Shortly thereafter, the United States closed its border with Canada to sheep imports. By the end of October, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reopened the border, but with certain conditions.
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