Revised BSE Measures For US Imports

CANADA - Canada is opening its border to a broader range of animals and animal products from the United States, which were suspended following the confirmation of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Washington State in 2003.
calendar icon 29 June 2006
clock icon 3 minute read

Effective immediately, all classes of U.S. cattle, including those for breeding purposes born after 1999, are eligible for entry based on prescribed certification requirements. As well, beef from cattle over 30 months of age will also be eligible for importation under certain conditions.

"Canada's import controls continue to provide the highest levels of public and animal health protection," said Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Chuck Strahl. "At the same time, Canada's new government is moving closer to re-integrating the North American cattle market, in accordance with international standards."

The scope of the prohibitions has been narrowed several times, based on the safeguards implemented in both Canada and the United States, and the most current understanding of BSE available. This approach is science-based and moves Canada and the United States closer to fully normalizing trade within the North American cattle market.

Prohibitions on certain U.S. commodities are being maintained to prevent the importation of high-risk products, such as specified risk materials (SRM) or products containing these materials. SRM are those tissues known to have the potential to harbour BSE infectivity. These import controls provide continued protection of human and animal health from BSE and are reflective of the most recent international standards for BSE of the World Organization for Animal Health.

As a general practice, Canada’s animal health import restrictions are reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure they reflect the most current scientific information, remain effective and do not impose unwarranted trade barriers. In the context of BSE, import controls are one component of a suite of safeguards that protects human and animal health from BSE. Other measures include feed controls, surveillance testing and the removal of high-risk tissues from all animals slaughtered for human consumption.

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