China eases Canada bans

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
Jan 31, 2005
by WLJ
China recently lifted its ban on imports of poultry and poultry products from Canada, processed from Jan. 18 can now be imported. In addition, China has approved Canadian collection centers and processing facilities for bovine semen and embryos, and porcine semen and blood products, allowing trade to resume. This restores partial access to one of Canada's most important export markets in Asia.
“China is one of our most important Asian markets, and we are very pleased with their decision to immediately resume trade in these areas. The decision underlines the level of confidence in Canada's food safety systems and the measures we have put in place," Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Andy Mitchell said in a statement.
“I am pleased that our two countries are taking a science-based approach to resolving these important issues,” said Canada’s International Trade Minister Jim Peterson, during a Canadian trade mission to China last week. “We will continue discussions with China to open the border to remaining beef products and live animals," he said.
In 2003, poultry and poultry products exports to China totaled more than $5 million (Canadian), and exports in semen and embryos totaled $3.5 million. Imports of poultry and poultry products were halted in February 2004 following the discovery of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Canada. China's decision to lift the ban was based on evidence provided by Canada which showed that the disease had been eradicated and was consistent with the guidelines of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
A ban on imports of bovine and certain porcine products followed the discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in a Canadian cow in May 2003. China lifted the ban on a number of products in September 2004, following a series of technical discussions with Canadian officials. In October, during a visit to Beijing, Mitchell signed two protocols establishing the animal health conditions for resumption of trade in bovine semen and embryos. The recently approved Canadian establishments can now begin immediately to export these products, as well as porcine blood products, to China.
"These developments are extremely positive news for both the poultry, the beef and the porcine industries, and reflects the success of recent efforts and discussions reinforcing the stringent measures we have in place to ensure the safety of Canadian products," Mitchell said. — WLJ