Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

September 19, 2007 13:41 ET

AAFC/Minister's Statement: United States to Resume Imports of Older Canadian Cattle

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 19, 2007) - The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, today issued the following statement regarding the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) publishing of the final rule on Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE).

"Canada's beef and cattle producers have been waiting a long time for some more good news in the sector, so I welcome the publication of USDA's final minimal risk rule on BSE along with them. This is good news for industry on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border and it brings us one step closer to fully normalizing trade in North America.

"This rule will clear the way to resume exports of live Canadian cattle born on, or after, March 1, 1999 to the United States. While recognizing the significance of the final rule, Canada would have preferred no age requirement for cattle going to immediate slaughter.

"We look forward to USDA actions to further enhance trade in meat and meat products from older animals. This rule will restore opportunities for industry on both sides of the border and contribute to the long-term prosperity of farm families in both countries. Canada will continue to press for an additional rule to normalize trade in small ruminants, such as goats and sheep.

"We anticipate that implementation of this rule will also allow Mexico to expand its access to include imports of Canadian breeding stock and meat from older animals.

"I would like to thank U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Johanns, for his resolve in moving this rule forward on the basis of sound science. Canadian officials and industry have worked very hard to see this day and I am pleased to be able to share it with Canadian producers and their families, the agriculture industry and federal and provincial government partners, whose ongoing commitment and determination have contributed to this success.

"Canada and the United States have the same risk status for BSE and were both classified as "Controlled BSE risk" countries by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) in May of this year. Both countries have adopted extensive complementary and parallel measures to protect food safety, human and animal health, based on internationally recognized science standards and we will strive for the complete eradication of BSE from the North American herd."

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    613-759-7972
    1-866-345-7972
    or
    Minister Ritz' Office
    Todd MacKay
    613-759-1059