CALGARY – China has suspended imports of Canadian beef following the discovery of an atypical case of BSE, or mad cow disease, on an Alberta farm last month.
The Chinese market is the Canadian beef industry’s third-largest export market, worth approximately $170 million annually.
The Philippines and South Korea have also halted imports of Canadian beef based on the discovery of the case.
The detection of the atypical case is Canada’s first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in six years. It has been reported six times in the U.S., most recently in 2018.
Unlike the classic BSE strain, atypical BSE poses no health risk to humans and is not transmissible.
Dennis Laycraft, executive director of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, says he expects the border closures to be temporary, ideally resolving within days or weeks.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 11, 2022.