China to accept Canada beef on a staged basis

Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:27pm EDT
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WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - China will resume Canadian beef imports on a staged basis, the Canadian government said on Thursday.

Canada becomes the first country affected by bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, to regain staged market access for beef to China, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office said in a release.

Many countries closed their borders to Canadian beef after BSE was discovered in 2003, but China and South Korea are the only major markets that still had bans in place.

The agreement starts with boneless beef from cattle under 30 months of age and beef tallow for industrial use.

(Reporting by Rod Nickel and Jeff Hodgson; editing by Rob Wilson)