Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

August 14, 2011 14:02 ET

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada: New Markets Now Open for Canadian Producers

For the First Time Since 2003, An Asian Market Has Opened Its Doors to Canadian Live Breeding Cattle, Sheep and Goats

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 14, 2011) - Canadian ranchers of live breeding cattle, sheep and goats will now benefit from access to the Vietnamese market, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister Ed Fast announced today. The new market is worth up to $50 million and will lead to the first commercially significant sales of these Canadian animals into Asia since 2003.

"Our Government is focused on completing the economic recovery by opening new markets for Canadian goods and services," said Minister Ritz.

"The Vietnamese market is now reopened to live breeding cattle, sheep and goats and trade can resume immediately, which will benefit Canadian ranchers."

"Canadian farmers and their families know that international trade is fundamental to their financial security, and our government wants to help them through freer trade and by securing access to new markets," said Minister Fast. "Canada welcomes this decision by Vietnam. Closer economic ties with Southeast Asia will create jobs and opportunities for Canadians."

"The achievement of this milestone is one more example of the effectiveness of the ongoing partnership between the Canadian Government and Industry.

We are now in an enviable position to exploit the high quality of our Canadian livestock population's traceability, transparent genetic ability verification systems, high health standards and, importantly, the willingness of Canadian industry to provide support resources to enable the Vietnamese to take full advantage of Canada's economically tested cattle, sheep and goat performances, "said Rick McRonald, Executive Director of the Canadian Livestock Genetics Association (CLGA).

The industry estimates the total market value for imports of live ruminants in Vietnam worth close to $50 million, of which Canada can now compete for its share.

AAFC Backgrounder


Canadian industry has been working with the government to gain access to the Vietnam market for several years. Vietnam's Department of Animal Health has now formally approved the Canadian export health certificates for live cattle and live goat and sheep, allowing trade to resume immediately. Canadian exporters can find the required documentation on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) web site at

Securing access opens a new market for Canadian livestock and genetics. The industry estimates the total market value for imports of live ruminants in Vietnam worth close to $50 million.

In addition to live breeding cattle, sheep and goats, Canada also has access for the following related products: all beef from animals of all ages; beef offal (heart, liver, and kidney); bovine semen; bovine embryos; ovine semen; ovine embryos; caprine semen; caprine embryos.

Market Access Restrictions for Canadian live ruminant animals

Following Canada's announcement of its first case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in May 2003, Vietnam banned imports of Canadian live cattle, along with beef and beef products.

In June 2007, Canada formally requested access for all beef and cattle based on Canada's BSE controlled risk status as determined by the World Organization for Animal Health. Vietnam consistently indicated that it would take a phased approach in which it would first make a decision on expanded beef access, followed by a decision on cattle. Full access for Canadian beef was secured in July 2010.

The Vietnamese industry has expressed strong interest in live cattle from Canada as well as live sheep and goats.

The Canadian Livestock Genetics Association (CLGA) and Vietnam's National Institute of Animal Sciences signed in October 2010 a cooperation agreement with respect to livestock genetics improvement for sheep and goats in Vietnam. Today's announcement allows this project to proceed without delay.

Contact Information

  • Media Relations
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario

    Meagan Murdoch
    Director of Communications
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz

    Adam Taylor
    Director of Communications and Tour
    Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
    Minister of International Trade and Minister
    for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

    Trade Media Relations Office
    Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada