CANADA - Canada's markets have re-opened to imports of beef from the EU after recognising that BSE risks have fallen.
The Canadian market has been closed to any EU beef, including deboned beef, since 1996.
The move gives access to 19 member states that had access to Canadian markets before the BSE ban. The European Commission said this is an important recognition that member states have equivalent animal health standards, adding: "This is an important development and will further improve the trade relations with Canada on Sanitary and Phytosanitary issues."
The 19 member states that have regained access include France, Spain, Germany and the UK, among others. The EU and Canada are working together to establish meat trade from other member states that have not had any access so far.
The Commission commented: "It will provide a welcome boost to Europe's beef producers and exporters, particularly as it comes at a time when farmers across the EU are going through a particularly difficult period."
European farming organisation Copa-Cogeca welcomed the news, saying it would help to alleviate pressure on the market.
“Farmers and agri-cooperatives are facing a very difficult time at the moment and its important to find new market outlets. We are very proud of our quality beef which respects some of the highest standards in the world and offers consumers a good source of protein for a balanced, nutritious diet.
"I hope that trade can also start with 9 other member states that are making applications and I believe that the Commission is working on this,” said Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen.
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