Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

February 01, 2006 15:40 ET

AAFC: Mexico Expands Market Access To Canadian Beef

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 1, 2006) - Mexico has announced its decision to expand market access for a wider range of Canadian and U.S. beef products. Canada is very pleased with this decision and acknowledges the leadership that Mexico has demonstrated by allowing our countries to take another important step towards fully normalizing trade in North America.

As part of ongoing efforts to expand market access, Canadian, American and Mexican officials agreed to a harmonized Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) import standard in March of last year. This reflects the current guidelines set by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Implementation of this agreement is subject to the regulatory processes of each country. Until now Mexico has permitted imports of boneless Canadian beef from animals less than thirty months of age. Mexico's decision to allow imports of bone-in beef brings us a step closer to resuming normal trade.

Canadian officials continue to work with their Mexican counterparts to ensure Canadian processors may take full advantage of this restoration of market access as soon as possible. The Government of Canada remains committed to ensuring the prosperity of the entire industry and seeks to normalize trade for the remaining ruminant products and live animals that are still subject to import bans in North America and internationally.

Canada and the U.S. continue to have the same risk status for BSE. Both our countries have adopted extensive complementary and parallel measures to protect human and animal health, as well as food safety, based on internationally recognized science standards and we will continue to strive for the eradication of BSE from the North American herd.

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