Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced that Canada has regained full access for beef to Hong Kong. The announcement was made during his visit to Hong Kong, following a meeting with Donald Tsang, chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
The extended access refers to a relaxation of imports of meat cuts involving the vertebral column from cattle under 30 months old. It follows the imposition of restrictions following the discovery of BSE in a Canadian cow in 2003. Hong Kong had partly lifted restrictions in November 2004 when it allowed import of boneless beef cuts from cattle under 30 months old.
Canadian beef exports to Hong Kong have actually risen since the discovery of BSE, increasing from 625 tonnes in 2002 to 17,675 tonnes in 2008, making it the third-largest export customer, according to Canadian Beef Export Federation statistics. This compares to 294,843 tonnes to the U.S. and 46,949 tonnes to Mexico in 2008