Canadian beef exports suspended in Asia amid atypical BSE case

Hygiene & Biosecurity

China, South Korea and the Philippines have temporarily halted beef imports from Canada.

Posted on Jan 12 ,06:25

Canadian beef exports suspended in Asia amid atypical BSE case

Three Asian countries decided to suspend beef imports from Canada due to an atypical mad cow disease case reported last month. The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association confirmed this week that China – which imports approximately $170 million of Canadian beef annually, making it the industry’s third-largest global market – has halted imports of beef from Canada following the discovery of an atypical case of BSE, or mad cow disease, on an Alberta farm last month.
South Korea, which is worth about $90 million per year to Canada’s beef industry, as well as the Philippines – which imports about $13 million in Canadian beef annually – have also suspended imports. "I wouldn’t say it’s surprising, though we were hoping this wouldn’t happen. We’re hopeful that these will be very short in duration, but it’s a foreign regulator that you’re dealing with, in different time zones and different languages," explains Dennis Laycraft, executive director of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, quoted by the Global News newspaper.
The atypical case of BSE was reported in December on a cattle farm in Alberta and it's the first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in six years. In September, China halted Brazilian beef imports for three months for the same reason. The discovery of the atypical case is not expected to negatively affect Canada’s status as a “negligible risk” country for BSE, as determined by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

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