U.S. Won’t Ban Canadian Beef Despite Mad Cow Infection

The United States said it will not suspend beef imports from Canada following the discovery of mad cow disease on an Alberta farm.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said there is a simple reason behind its decision: “Atypical BSE (mad cow disease) does not pose a risk to other cattle.”

The news comes as a relief to Canada’s beef producers as the U.S. is the largest export market for Canadian beef products. According to the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, the U.S. accounts for 72% of Canadian Beef exports, followed by Japan at 11% and China at 6.6%.

On December 17, a case of mad cow disease was found in Alberta, prompting the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to notify the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

On January 6, three countries - China, the Philippines and South Korea – suspended imports of Canadian beef or requested that Canada not certify exports for their markets due to the detection of mad cow disease, according to Agriculture and Agri-foods Canada.