October 2, 2003



Mexico Lifts Ban On Canadian Beef


Mexico said on Wednesday it was lifting its ban on imports of fresh, refrigerated, frozen and processed beef from Canadian cattle less than 30 months old after the mad cow disease scare in May led to a complete ban on Canadian beef and cattle.


Mexico's Agriculture Ministry announced that the ban would end on Thursday.


Mexico is one of Canada¡¯s key trading partners to have closed its border to Canadian beef and produce after a cow in Alberta, Canada¡¯s main beef-producing province, tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Canada said it has since increased its controls and investigated the lone case in order to prevent new breakouts. The Mexican Agriculture Ministry has since acknowledged that fact.


However, it is still unclear where the ban on live import cattle has also been lifted.


In August, Mexico lifted a ban on Canadian deboned beef less than 30 months old.


Canada is Mexico's second largest provider of beef, providing between 15 percent and 20 percent of Mexico's total beef imports. Around 30 percent of Mexico's cattle for breeding and dairy cattle buys come from Canada.


Mexico, Canada and the United States are members of the North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA.