BIARRITZ, France (B)--A senior Belgian Government official said Sept. 4 that the U.S. refusal to repatriate sheep imported from Belgium over a sanitary dispute would trigger the affair to take a legal form. The United States Department of Agriculture said in July it had detected a form or what is commonly known as mad cow disease in four sheep. "However this has got nothing to do with the Government, it is a commercial affair," the official told BridgeNews.
The 65 sheep, which were exported in 1996 from Belgium and the Netherlands have been tested by America, but the Belgian Government said it wanted to carry out its own "internationally recognized test" to check the facts. "It is a shame the affair is taking this turn of events," he added.