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Feb 10, 2005
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A temporary ban on Canadian beef products has been imposed by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Saudi Press Agency reported Monday and which was confirmed by Canadian officials.

Frequent reports of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or mad cow disease, in Canada, as reported by Canadian authorities and international organizations pertaining to animal health, led to the Ministry's decision, said the Saudi Arabian report.

Dave MacDonald, senior trade policy analyst with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, said Saudi Arabia first informed Canada of the intended ban in early March. The country had opened its borders to certain Canadian beef products on December 22, 2003, after originally closing in reaction to Canada's first BSE discovery in May 2003.

As a result of Canada's second and third BSE cases confirmed in January 2005, Saudi Arabia felt they needed to institute a temporary ban, said MacDonald.

Saudi Arabia is roughly the seventh largest export market for Canadian beef products, said MacDonald. Canadian beef exports to Saudi Arabia in 2004 totaled C$2.5 million, which compares with C$3.8 million the previous year, he said.

Canada maintains that the country's latest BSE cases do not change its minimal risk profile, said MacDonald. The two countries are currently in the midst of negotiations to resume trade, on both the technical and political levels, he said. He did not have a time frame as to when exports may resume.

Cam Daniels, vice-president of the Canadian Beef Export Federation, said Saudi Arabia is not a very large market for Canadian beef. The country requires all beef imports meet the Islamic, Halal guidelines. Only a couple of Canadian packers produce beef following the Halal guidelines, which makes Saudi Arabia a "niche market," he said.

MacDonald added that veal accounts for the majority of the cattle products sent to Saudi Arabia from Canada. Veal animals are primarily milk fed and pose a negligible risk for BSE, he said.
No it doesn't, was going to post a reply under it, but had a hfr jump the fence and had to go get her.

Was wondering why now, been a while ago since the last one to just be announcing it. I don't think any exports you or us get back are going to be sure money in the bank. I think they will come and go. Just my opinon.

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