(Murray McNeill – Winnipeg Free Press)
A total of five countries have now banned imports of Canadian beef products in the wake of the recent discovery of the first new case of mad cow disease in Canada since 2011.
Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz told a national grains conference in Winnipeg on Monday that Taiwan, Peru, Indonesia and Belarus have joined South Korea in imposing temporary bans. He noted they’re all small markets for Canada, accounting for only three to 3.5% of our beef export sales. He also noted Belarus hasn’t bought any Canadian beef products in more than a decade, and Indonesia only buys non-edible beef products such as bone meal and blood.
“In some cases it’s just a knee-jerk reaction. It’s what they do,” he said, noting the same thing happened about 10 years ago when avian influenza was found in some poultry farms in British Columbia. Most of the countries later re-opened their borders to Canadian poultry products, he added. “So we realize these are speed bumps on the road forward.” Click here to read more.
Related: More Countries Ban Canadian Beef Due to BSE Fears (Calgary Herald)