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US bone-in beef to Mexico

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MEXICO OPENS MARKET TO U.S. BONE-IN BEEF

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2006 - Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns today announced that Mexico has resumed trade in U.S. bone-in beef from animals under 30 months of age.

"Mexico's decision to further open its market to U.S. beef is a testament to the safety of U.S. beef and a clear expression of confidence in the U.S. safeguards to prevent BSE," said Johanns. "As a NAFTA partner and our second largest export market, the normalization of beef trade with Mexico is great news for our farmers and ranchers. This action demonstrates Mexico's commitment to trade based on internationally accepted scientific standards for human and animal health."

In March 2004, Mexico opened its market to boneless U.S. beef from animals under 30 months of age, which had closed following the December 2003 find of BSE in Washington state. In April 2005, to help normalize trade in ruminants and ruminant products within North America, Mexico, the United States and Canada agreed to harmonize their BSE risk mitigation measures to more effectively address any BSE risk in the region.

U.S. beef exporters sold more than $874 million worth of beef products to Mexico in 2003, with bone-in beef products accounting for $40 million of that total.
 

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Mexico to accept bone-in beef imports from young Canadian cattle


CALGARY (CP) - Almost three years after the mad cow crisis began in Canada, Mexico agreed Wednesday to accept bone-in cuts of young Canadian beef.

Until now, Mexico has permitted imports of boneless beef from animals under thirty months of age, which are believed to be at lower risk of developing bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE.

Mexico's decision to allow bone-in imports brings the embattled Canadian beef industry one step closer to resuming normal trade with its second-largest client.


"It also means improved value," said Ted Haney of the Canada Beef Export Federation.

"It's odd where you can leave a bone in a cut and get higher prices, but that's how much Mexican consumers appreciate a bone-in product."

The change is expected to mean some 5,000 to 8,000 additional tonnes of beef shipments to Mexico, worth between $20 million and $30 million.

"That's not chump change," said Haney.

The mad cow crisis has cost Canada's cattle producers more than $7 billion since BSE was discovered in Alberta in May 2003.

The key U.S. market reopened its border to some beef products late in 2003 and to young Canadian cattle last July.

Japanese officials agreed to allow beef from North America back into stores in late December, provided the meat came from animals under 21 months.
 

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