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Mexico bans Alberta breeding cattle

Mexico has banned imports of breeding cattle from Alberta in the wake of the latest case of BSE discovered in the province last week. The ban does not affect imports of Canadian beef.

The federal government was notified of the ban on Wednesday.

“They’re (Mexico is) very concerned that if they’re bringing in an older breeding animal, that they may be importing BSE; that’s the genesis of this,” Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said in an interview with the Calgary Herald.

Mexico is not a large market for Canadian live cattle, but officials of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association expressed frustration over the move, which they said was not justified under international or NAFTA animal health or trade regulations.

“We don’t understand what their basis is. We’re both controlled risk as identified by OIE (the international livestock health organization), so there should be virtually no restrictions on anything,” Rob McNabb, general manager of operations at the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, told the Herald.

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