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Libya to accept Canadian breeding cattle

Libya’s new government has moved to re-open the country’s ports to Canadian breeding cattle, ending a nine-year ban.

The re-opened market is estimated in Canada’s livestock genetics industry to be worth up to $3 million, the Canadian government said in a release Thursday.

Rick McRonald, executive director of the Canadian Livestock Genetics Association, thanked Ottawa for "very rapid establishment of favourable animal health conditions for the export of cattle to Libya."

The move, he said, "will allow our members to respond quickly to new opportunities."

Libya was among many countries to shut its ports to Canadian cattle in 2003, as Canada confirmed its first domestic case of BSE in an Alberta cow.

Canada’s total exports of other agricultural and food products to Libya in 2010 were worth over $31 million, the government said.

Canada imposed economic sanctions against Libya’s former government for about six months in 2011, lifting them in early September last year to support that country’s National Transitional Council.

Libya is now transitioning to a new constitutional system of government after the ouster and death of former head of state Col. Mu’ammer Gaddafi last October.

Libyans in July this year elected a new national assembly, which in turn elected an interim president last month.

Related story:
WTO to lower entry bar for poorest countries, July 4, 2012

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