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South Korea suspends Canadian beef imports

South Korea suspends Canadian beef imports

South Korea is Canada’s seventh largest beef export market by volume

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

At least one country has suspended beef imports from Canada following the confirmation of a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

South Korea’s ministry of agriculture announced Tuesday it is pausing beef imports from Canada after a cow in the province tested positive for an atypical case of BSE.

South Korea will only reopen its borders to Canadian beef once the Canadian government has provided enough data.

The ministry “has asked the Canadian government (to provide) epidemiology-related information on the recent BSE,” it said in a statement, Korea JoongAng Daily reported.

This isn’t the first time South Korea has paused Canadian beef imports due to BSE.

South Korea took similar action in February 2015 after an Alberta cow tested positive for BSE.

The 2015 ban lasted until Dec. 30 of that year.

South Korea is an important market for Canadian beef.

In the first 11 months of 2021, South Korea purchased 10,676 tons of Canadian beef. This accounts for about 2.6 per cent of South Korea’s total beef imports.

For Canada, South Korea is its seventh largest export market by volume.

In 2020, South Korea imported 20 per cent more Canadian beef than it did in 2019 with 6,784 MT imported in 2020. has contacted the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association for comment.

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