South Korea suspended Canadian beef imports earlier this week
By Diego Flammini
Representatives in Canada’s beef sector don’t believe a recent ban on Canadian beef will last long.
South Korea, one of Canada’s top beef export markets, suspended imports of Canadian beef after a cow in Alberta tested positive for atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).
Atypical BSE appears spontaneously in older cattle at a rate of about one in one million.
That cow was euthanized on the farm and didn’t enter the food or animal feed chain.
Canadian and South Korean officials are already working together to resume beef trade.
South Korea’s ministry of agriculture “requires the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to complete a questionnaire in order to lift the suspension,” Katelyn Laverdure, a Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) spokeswoman, told Farms.com in an emailed statement. “CFIA has responded to the questionnaire and is addressing any additional clarification which is required.”
Canada’s response will “hopefully lead to the prompt reopening of the Korean market.”
South Korea will reopen its borders to Canadian beef once the Canadian government has provided enough data.
And atypical cases of BSE usually don’t result in extended trade action.
“The detection of an atypical case does not impact Canada’s BSE negligible risk status, nor should it further interrupt trade flows,” Laverdure said.
CFIA officials haven’t received notifications of any other countries taking similar action.
“To date, no trading partners have indicated that they are considering any trade actions, other than South Korea,” Patrick Girard, a CFIA spokesperson, told Farms.com in an emailed statement.