Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

September 14, 2007 16:04 ET

Minister Ritz Comments on U.S. Department of Agriculture Final BSE Minimal Risk Rule

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 14, 2007) - The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, today issued this statement following the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) release of its final minimal risk rule on Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE).

"I'm pleased that the USDA has confirmed its intention to publish its final BSE minimal risk rule in the U.S. Federal Register. Canadian cattle producers, their families and our exporters have been eagerly awaiting the introduction of this new rule.

"I join with Canadian industry in welcoming this good news and look forward to the rule's implementation, which will help bring much needed stability to North America's beef and cattle trade.

"The USDA confirms that its final rule will be published on September 18, which would allow exports of older Canadian cattle into the United States, effective November 19, 2007. With the publication of this rule, exports of meat and meat products from older Canadian animals will also be allowed.

"I am also encouraged to see that recent decisions by Canada's New Government to further strengthen animal health safeguards, like our enhanced feed ban, are having a positive influence with other countries - allowing us to expand international trade opportunities for producers. Earlier this year, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) officially categorized Canada as a "Controlled BSE risk" country, which clearly recognizes the effectiveness of Canada's surveillance, mitigation and eradication measures.

"I look forward to reviewing the USDA's final rule, including what it will mean for Canadian industry, over the coming days and I will provide more detailed comments about the rule and its content at that time."

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    Minister Ritz' Office
    Todd MacKay