Colombia has agreed to resume imports of Canadian beef from all ages of cattle, Canadian Trade Minister Stockwell Day said Sept. 16.
Colombia will be the first market in South America to reopen to Canadian beef imports since mad cow disease was found on a western Canadian farm in 2003.
It had agreed in the spring, during a visit from Canadian officials, to consider reopening its border after analyzing Canada’s most recent mad cow cases.
Colombia would initially be a $6-million market for beef, but the Canadian cattle industry hopes it triggers a reopening of other South American markets.
Ottawa will continue to press Colombia to accept live cattle, as well as beef, government officials said.
The industry sees diversifying export markets as critical in light of restrictive U. S. food-labelling laws that have hampered livestock shipments to the United States.