Chinese mainland restricts Canadian beef over mad cow
The Chinese mainland has joined Taiwan, South Korea, Peru and Belarus in placing temporary restrictions on imports of Canadian beef out of concern over a case of mad cow disease in Alberta.
The Alberta case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was confirmed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on Feb. 13.
The CFIA said it is trying to get further clarification on the extent of China’s restrictions, which it characterized as temporary, CBC News reported. China represents about two per cent of Canada’s market for beef.
The beef cow was being raised on a farm just outside of Alberta’s capital city of Edmonton.
The CFIA confirmed that this was the second case of BSE on the same farm, the first being discovered there in 2010. Officials said this was the first time a single farm has had two cases of mad cow disease, according to CBC News.
CFIA officials said they are inspecting all aspects of how both animals were fed and raised, and the quality of the food fed to the most recent cow.
“The focus of our investigation will include consideration of whether there was noncompliance with the 2007 feed regime,” said CFIA official Dr Martine Dubuc.
In 2007, Canada imposed new rules on feed formulas to restrict ingredients unsuitable for ruminants.
The CFIA said no part of the BSE-positive cow entered the food system, for either animals or pets.
suspended Canadian beef imports last week — and Taiwan, Belarus and Peru followed suit. Indonesia put restrictions on nonedible meat products.
The case was the first diagnosis of mad cow disease in Canada since 2011.
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said Canada was engaging with trading partners to keep markets open and try to reopen the markets that have imposed restrictions.
“The World Organization for Animal Health recognizes Canada as a controlled risk status country, and we expect our trading partners to recognize this status and base market access decisions on science,” he told CBC News.