Colombia resumes imports of Canadian cattle

Fri Apr 9, 2010 2:34pm EDT
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WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Colombia has reopened its border to Canadian cattle, Canada's trade and agriculture ministers said on Friday.

Effective immediately, Canadian exporters are eligible to export to Colombia all cattle born after August 1, 2007.

Colombia is the first South American country to reopen its market to Canadian cattle since 2003, when a case of mad cow disease in a Canadian herd led to many countries halting imports of Canadian cattle and beef.

"This is great news for our cattle industry, as we continue to work to ensure full access to important markets across the Americas," said International Trade Minister Peter Van Loan.

In January, Canada completed the process to reopen the Colombian market to Canadian beef. The beef market is estimated to be worth C$6 million ($5.9 million) for Canada.

Canada and Colombia have an agreement for free trade, but it still requires approval from Canada's House of Commons.

(Reporting by Rod Nickel; Editing by Marguerita Choy)