OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 13, 2012) - Russia has lifted its ban on breeding cattle from British Columbia allowing for immediate exports to the lucrative Russian market, announced today Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. Cattle can now be shipped to Russia from British Columbia for the first time since April 2007. This new market access is estimated to be worth up to $8 million annually for the Canadian cattle industry, representing a potential increase of 30% over 2011, when Canadian exports were worth more than $26 million.
"This is excellent news for our cattle producers from British Columbia and recognizes Canada's increasingly strong trade relationship with Russia," said Minister Ritz. "Market by market, the Harper Government is creating more trade opportunities for our hard-working farmers and their families, which leads to more jobs, prosperity and economic growth."
"Russia is an important market for Canadian breeding cattle," said Canadian Cattlemen's Association President Martin Unrau. "We congratulate Minister Ritz for this latest market access win, which will benefit Canadian producers by increasing our ability to supply that market."
"We are pleased with the science-based decision of the Government of Russia to re-open its market to cattle from BC," said Minister Fast. "With one in six jobs in BC related to generated by trade, our government understands that access to new markets means greater prosperity and financial security for hardworking British Columbians and their families. That's why we have consistently fought for fair and open access for our exporters around the world. Opening new markets, increasing Canadian exports and creating new opportunities that benefit Canadian workers and businesses are at the core of our government's broad and ambitious pro-trade plan."
The Harper Government obtained access for Canadian cattle to the Russian market in October 2006 and now with the lift of import restrictions on British Columbia cattle, Canada can export breeding cattle from all provinces to Russia. Over the last three trade missions to Russia, Minister Ritz has reiterated that Canadian cattle, including that from British Columbia, is safe and that there is no scientific reason to restrict access.
This new access allows trade of high-quality Canadian breeding cattle at a competitive price. It will supply Russia's far-east territories with animals adapted to similar climatic conditions.