In May 2007, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) officially categorized Canada as a controlled risk status country for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). Canadian beef gained this status due to Canada’s effective BSE surveillance, mitigation and eradication measures. This categorization allows for the safe trade in all beef and cattle under conditions which Canada meets. When working to build a trade agreement with another country, full OIE access is always the goal. Canada could be approved for Negligible Risk status in the spring 2016 based on the measures we have in place and through surveillance that demonstrates those measures are effective. Click here to see Canada’s, and other countries, BSE status as deemed by the OIE.
When BSE was discovered in 2003, the impact to the Canadian beef industry was enormous. About 40 markets immediately closed their borders to Canadian cattle and beef. The industry moved quickly to take steps to minimize the damage and to eliminate BSE from its national herd. Since then, a significant number of Canada’s export markets have reopened to some Canadian beef and cattle. In 2013, Canada was exporting all beef products to 54 markets and select beef products to an additional 26 markets.
The industry and the Canadian government continue to work hard to restore full market access with all markets for Canadian beef and cattle. For a summary of activities taken and for more information on BSE click here.