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IMF Urges US and Canada to Resolve BSE Related Trade Issues

by 5m Editor
15 June 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1537. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1537

The International Meat Secretariat suggests, until Canada and the US can resolve their own trade issues related to BSE, it'll be difficult to resolve issues in other markets.

BSE has emerged as one of the major issues at World Meat Congress 2004 which kicked off yesterday in Winnipeg.

Despite intense efforts, the US border remains closed to Canadian live cattle and specific beef products.

International Meat Secretariat President Philip Seng says, as far as risk mitigation measures, the Canadian cattle industry has done everything that needs to be done and Canadian product is as safe as any product.

"Canada, right now, is ready to move products into every market in the world. Their risk mitigation measures, the fact that all the precautions that had to be taken have been taken. I think the hold up with the United States has been the procedural approach that the USDA has had to deal with as far as opening up the border.

Where they were subject to scrutiny on this thing was when it was found out they were not obeying their own regulations they had set.

This was challenged by some groups in the United States and therefor that's what's actually slowed down this process so dramatically.

I think this has had a major impact in Canada. You can look at the price of Canadian cattle. You can look at the impact the last 13 months of BSE has had on the Canadian producer. You look at the fact that 20 percent of their lambs that they used to export to the United States are no longer allowed to come into the United States because of scrapie.

You look at the fact that there's a pork countervailing duty now against live hogs from Canada. You have all this product, lamb, beef and pork backing up in the Canadian market.

It's a market that was developed in conjunction with the United States and based on trade with the United States so, all of a sudden, there's a cessation of that trade and it's been traumatic".

Seng suggests the United States and Canada have to work to resume trade and get business back on a normal footing.

He says it's also important to work with partners in Asia in order that they'll start receiving beef because that's when we'll start seeing our markets normalized.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor