While South Korea
has cited fears of bovine spongiform encephalopathy as its rationale for
banning imports of beef from the United States
and Canada, Seoul still has not
established its own regulatory measures to protect against the disease.
"South Korea is classified into the category of countries with
undetermined BSE risk, while countries such as the United States and Canada
are sorted as controlled risk countries," Lee Sung-shik,
head of the Korean Society of Veterinary Services, said, according to Yonhap News. "Although [BSE] never
occurred in South Korea,
we should not neglect the standard set by the international community."
Jean-Luc Angot, deputy director general of the
World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), also has publicly urged Seoul to submit
documents required for a BSE risk assessment. He contended the country's
capabilities to systematically control the disease, as opposed to the number
of reported cases, will determine its risk classification.