Canadian exporters hail Taiwan’s decision to widen beef allowance

By Kitty So, in Ottawa

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Beef products Bovine spongiform encephalopathy Taiwan Beef

Canadian beef exporters are applauding Taiwan’s announcement last week that it will accept more Canadian beef imports, a decade after an outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) – mad cow disease – sparked health concerns and closed markets to Canada. 

"We’re very happy to have this step. We hope they see it through,"​ said John Masswohl, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association director of government and international relations. "Taiwan was always an important market,"​ importing high value products, he added.

Taiwan plans to allow imports of Canadian bone-in beef products from cattle under-30 months of age, said Masswohl. The country currently only accepts Canadian boneless beef products from cattle aged under-30 months. Taiwan banned Canadian beef in 2003 and reopened its market to boneless beef in 2007.

Taiwanese officials have also stressed the country will continue to ban parts of cattle considered a high risk of carrying BSE, including skulls, eyes, brains, spinal cords and ground meat. Ron Davidson, the Canadian Meat Council’s government and media relations director, noted Canada’s internal controls for preventing BSE already call for the removal of ‘specified risk materials’, which are associated with the nervous system, from beef products intended for human consumption.

Masswohl added the proposal to lift the ban must now be passed through the Taiwanese legislature and a public notification period will follow.

With this move, Canada will have the same access to Taiwan’s markets as the USA: "This will put us on the same footing as US beef,"​ he noted.

Canada’s beef export markets have been reopening progressively in the past six years and the industry hopes for continued recovery. "That certainly is our hope and objective, to have full access restored to all of our markets,"​ said Masswohl.

He noted the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has identified Canada as a "controlled BSE risk" and has recommended that age restrictions on its cattle exports are not necessary: "We would hope in the future to have the access broadened to include all our beef products rather than having the current age restrictions,"​ said Davidson.

Between January and October 2013, Canada exported 437 metric tonnes of beef to Taiwan – up 25% from the same period the previous year, according to Canada Beef Inc. The most popular cuts included various chuck cuts, rib finger meat and high valued middle cuts such rib eye and striploin.

Related topics Meat

Related news

Show more

Follow us


View more