Doctor Karin Schwabenbauer, president of the Assembly, and Doctor Bernard Vallat, director general of the OIE, issued the certificate on 29 May 2014, as part of the OIE’s third plenary meeting of the 82th General Session in Paris last month.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture of the People’s Republic of China (MOA), the decision demonstrated the international community’s recognition of China’s animal disease control systems.
"It is believed that the designation will play an important role in ensuring animal-derived food safety and public health in China, and facilitating beef trade in international markets," said a statement by the MOA.
It added that there had been no cases of BSE in China, to date. The country said it had adopted a number of measures to prevent possible transmission of the disease, which had been in operation since 1990. These included a National Reference Laboratory, the establishment of OIE-acknowledged diagnosis methods and monitoring activities.
"With joint efforts of other competent authorities, MOA has imposed bans on the import of meat and bone meal, bone meal and other specified risk materials derived from ruminant animals from infected countries and regions," it added.
The MOA submitted an application for negligible BSE risk to the OIE in September 2013.
In related news, China has recently banned the import of all poultry from California. In place as of 21 May 2014, the ban follows reports of avian influenza being found in the US.