Pacific Rim delays Canadian beef reentry

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
Jan 10, 2005
by WLJ
South Korea said the discovery of a new case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Canada, the third known infection among North American cattle, may delay a resumption in beef imports from the country.
South Korea earlier banned imports from Canada and the U.S. following BSE infections. South Korea consumed 443,000 tons of beef in 2004, the fourth largest in Asia after China, India and Japan, according to the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).
“We’ve been banning imports of Canadian beef since May 2003, and resuming imports from Canada may be delayed further,” said Kim Kyu, a veterinary officer at South Korea's Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The ministry last year held talks with Canada on lifting the ban, pending assurances the meat was safe.
China and Japan have not formally announced what its plans for Canadian beef are, but the lack of any action last week was said to mean both countries would probably wait to reopen its borders to Canadian beef until the situation with the U.S. is resolved.
Mexico stays open
While Pacific Rim and several other overseas countries have further delayed reentry to Canadian beef, Mexican officials said last week there are no plans to tighten its restrictions on beef coming from Canada.
Mexico’s Agriculture Ministry said in a statement it would maintain its existing ban on Canadian imports of live cattle, plus high-risk beef products such as cranium, brain, eyes and spinal cord., but that certain bone-in products would still be allowed across the Mexican border.
“We will follow the investigation underway by health authorities in Canada,” the ministry said.
New sanitary controls allowed Mexico to resume importing lower-risk beef products in August 2003. Mexico’s beef imports from Canada totaled approximately 70,000 metric tons in 2004. — WLJ
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