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US finally joins Canada in Hong Kong

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Feb 10, 2005
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Hong Kong Agrees To Open Market to U.S. Beef (12/30/05 07:20)

OMAHA (DTN) -- According to a usinfo.state.gov release, the United States has reached agreement with Hong Kong to reopen Hong Kong's market to U.S. boneless beef from cattle younger than 30 months.

With the Hong Kong agreement, announced December 29 by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, the United States has recovered 74 percent of its beef export market that closed down after a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease, was found in December 2003 in an older U.S. cow imported from Canada.

The agreement follows a December 11 announcement by the Agriculture Department that the United States and Japan agreed to reopen Japanese markets to imports of U.S. beef. In 2004 and 2005, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) significantly stepped up its beef cow testing and surveillance program. Part of the latter effort -- to detect early any apparent case of BSE and to contain the disease if needed -- has been the implementation of an animal identification system to aid in tracking suspected or diagnosed sick animals.

"This agreement follows Hong Kong's determination that U.S. control measures effectively ensure the safety of our beef," Johanns said in a statement. "USDA will continue to focus our efforts on opening additional markets in Asia and around the world by promoting the use of science-based regulations in global beef trade," he said.

In 2003, Hong Kong was the fifth largest market for U.S. beef products.

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