January 23, 2008 / 2:43 AM / 10 years ago

Mexico looks to lift ban on Canadian dairy cattle

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico wants to eliminate soon a ban on Canadian dairy cattle imports that dates back to a 2003 outbreak of mad cow disease in Canada, a senior animal health official said on Tuesday.

Mexico stopped importing beef and cattle from Canada following an outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in 2003.

It has since restarted imports of most beef and cattle products, but has kept its borders closed to Canadian dairy cattle.

Victor Villalobos, who heads international affairs at Mexico’s agriculture ministry, said Mexican animal health officials will meet with their Canadian counterparts in February to hash out a deal in which Mexico would gradually open its borders to dairy cattle imports.

“We will have access to dairy cattle aged under 30 months,” Villalobos told Reuters.

Reporting by Adriana Barrera, editing by Carol Bishopric

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