China instigated the ban on fears of the H1N1 flu virus, dubbed ‘swine flu’, when it was found in a herd of pigs in Alberta in May. Canadian health authorities, the World Health Organization and the Food and Agricultural Organization said at that time that there is no reason to restrict trade of inspected pork, and that there is no health risk caused by properly cooked pork from pigs affected by influenza.
Harper said: “Step by step this Government is reopening markets for Canadian pork producers. Canadian producers want to make their living in the marketplace and we are working closely with our international counterparts to make sure our producers remain competitive and profitable.”
China is an important market for Canada’s pig farmers, representing $47m of pork exports last year, according to Canadian government figures.