Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

October 19, 2006 20:46 ET

AAFC: Russia to Open Border to Cattle and Boneless Beef From Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 19, 2006) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, and the Honourable David L. Emerson, Minister of International Trade, today welcomed the news that the Russian Federation has agreed to lift its ban on the import of Canadian breeding cattle.

Following discussions between senior officials from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, representatives of the Canadian genetics and meat sectors, and Russian Agriculture Minister, Alexei Gordeyev, Canada and the Russian Federation have agreed on imports of Canadian breeding cattle. The Russian Federation has also indicated that it intends to lift its ban on the importation of certain boneless beef products, subject to final approval of technical conditions. Russian officials will visit Canada to approve beef plants and shipments of live cattle.

"Canada's New Government welcomes the Russian Federation decision to lift the ban on Canadian breeding cattle and boneless beef," said Minister Strahl. "This is great news for our livestock and beef industry and will benefit both our countries. We also look forward to working with Russia to strengthen its own livestock and dairy sector."

Discussions were held in Moscow regarding close cooperation between Canada and the Russian Federation on the development of Russia's livestock sector. Both sides agreed to form an Agribusiness working group under the umbrella of the Canada-Russia Intergovernmental Economic Commission (IEC), with an initial focus on livestock. The IEC is a bilateral initiative created in 1993 under the terms of the Canada-Russia Agreement on Economic Cooperation to promote trade and economic relations between Canada and the Russian Federation.

"This is an important development for Canada and signals a step forward in restoring international market access for our beef and cattle producers," said Minister Emerson. "The opening of the Russian market to Canadian cattle will further strengthen Canadian exports there and will contribute more widely to our government's regional and bilateral initiatives with other trading partners."

Minister Strahl also extended an invitation to Minister Gordeyev to visit Canada to discuss areas of cooperation in livestock development between the Russian Federation and Canada.

"The reopening of the Russian market for Canadian live cattle is tremendous news for the genetics sector. Canadians are now well positioned to take advantage of the many opportunities in this growing market. We really appreciate the hard work of the Government of Canada in making this happen," Rick McRonald, Executive Director of the Canadian Livestock Genetics Association, said from Moscow.

Before the detection of Canada's first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in May 2003, Russian imports of Canadian breeding cattle and beef were more than $4 million. The agreement on export certificates for breeding cattle and boneless beef is a first step in fully restoring and developing greater trade with the Russian Federation in the future.

For more information please visit www.agr.gc.ca

Contact Information

  • Minister Strahl's Office
    Jeff Howard
    Press Secretary
    613-759-1059
    or
    Office of the Minister of International Trade
    and Minister for the Pacific Gateway
    and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics
    Jennifer Chiu, Press Secretary
    613-371-1557
    or
    Canadian Food Inspection Agency
    Media Relations
    613-228-6682
    or
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    613-759-7972
    1-866-345-7972
    or
    Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
    Trade Media Relations Office
    613-996-2000
    http://www.international.gc.ca