Ottawa, Ont. – The federal government is optimistic that South Korea will end its ban on Canadian beef by the end of 2011.
According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Minister Gerry Ritz, the ban will be lifted before the end of the year, in keeping with the promise made by South Korea this June.
The ban was originally put in place in 2003 after BSE was found in a Canadian cattle herd. South Korea is the last major beef importing country to lift the ban, despite the fact that prior to 2003 South Korea was Canada’s fourth largest beef market.
Ritz had warned that if the ban was not lifted by the end of 2011 the matter would go before the World Trade Organization. In making the announcement today Ritz noted that once the beef ban has been lifted, broader free trade talks with South Korea could continue.