The Philippines’ government has reopened the country’s ports to imports of live Canadian cattle, sheep and goats.
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister Ed Fast announced the decision Tuesday, with Fast describing it as “yet another win for Canadian workers and producers and their families.”
The Philippines imports about $9 million in live cattle from various countries each year, and about $300,000 worth of live sheep and goats, the Canadian government said.
Canadian producers “now have the ability to compete for sales in this market,” the government said, noting the Philippines imported other agricultural goods and agrifoods with a total value of over $235 million in 2010 alone. Canadian products formed 20 per cent of the Philippines’ total meat and poultry imports in 2008.
The Philippines was among many export markets to shut its doors to live ruminants in May 2003 following the discovery of Canada’s first domestic case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in an Alberta cow.
The country restored market access in 2007 for Canadian beef, and in 2010 lifted a BSE-related ban on rendered meat and bone meal imports from Canada.