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Singapore lifts remaining restrictions on Cdn. beef

Singapore lifts remaining restrictions on Cdn. beef

It’s the first country to do so since Canada’s BSE status change

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

One of Canada’s trading partners in the Trans-Pacific Partnership has become the first country to lift its remaining restrictions on Canadian beef.

On Aug. 20, Singapore became the first country to approve the Canadian Food Inspection Agency certificate for beef exports, including offal, without age restrictions, since the World Organization for Animal Health recognized Canada as a Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) negligible risk country in May.

Prior to the decision, Singapore had only approved boneless beef and bone-in beef from livestock under 30 months of age.

Canada exports beef to 62 countries around the world, but Singapore isn’t among the top markets.

Canada shipped its most beef to Singapore in 2014. That year, the Asian country imported 53.77 tonnes, valued at about $586,000.

In 2019, Singapore only imported 1.79 tonnes of Canadian beef, worth about $31,000.

For context, Canada exports about 72 per cent of all beef to the United States.

Despite the small market, having Singapore accept all Canadian beef could help other countries do the same, said Bob Lowe, president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.

“While Singapore is not currently a large market for Canadian beef, CCA is pleased with the market access progress as diverse market access leads to trade resiliency and the highest overall value for Canadian farmers and ranchers,” he said in an Aug. 24 statement. ““We are encouraged by Singapore’s change and hope others will follow soon.”

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