Taiwan lifts ban on Canadian beef following 2015 BSE outbreak

OTTAWA – Taiwan has lifted its temporary ban on Canadian beef, removing the trade barrier it imposed on the product after an outbreak of mad cow disease in Alberta last year.

Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland said the ban was lifted effective Friday.

Prior to the ban, some $12 million of Canada’s $2 billion in total annual beef exports went to Taiwan, making it Canada’s seventh largest beef market.

The Taiwan development comes one week after Mexico lifted its decade-long ban on some cattle imports, a move expected to be worth $250 million to Canadian beef producers.

The Canadian Cattleman’s Association said last week that Taiwan and China were the last holdouts among several countries that banned Canadian beef in relation to mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

The trade restrictions on Canada were imposed after a breeding cow was found with BSE in February 2015.

Rob Meijer, the president of Canada Beef, said the lifting of the Taiwan restriction would have broader benefits for the industry.

He said in a statement it would enable his organization to “increase the brand, value and the resulting loyalty for Canadian beef not only in Taiwan, but leveraging this into Southeast Asia.”