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Blow for Danes

COPENHAGEN (Reuter) - The Danish Agriculture Minister, Laurits Toernaes, expressed concern yesterday that beef exports could be hurt following the diagnosis of Denmark's first case of 'mad cow' disease - bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

'We must take very drastic action to avoid an unnecessary reaction among buyers on the export market and consumers,' Mr Toernaes told the national daily Berlingske Tidende.

Denmark last year exported beef valued at around 3bn crowns ( pounds 270m).