Ottawa – South Korea has lifted its eight-year ban on Canadian beef imports.
Some details still need to be worked out, reports the Calgary Herald, but the technical agreement will see the country import meat from cows under the age of 30 months.
The Canada Beef Export Federation says the agreement represents about $30 million.
In 2002, reports CTV.ca, South Korea was Canada’s fourth biggest beef market. South Korea banned imports after Alberta reported North America’s first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in 2003.
Emotional issue in South Korea
But it may not be all smooth sailing from here. The Wall Street Journal reports that local politics might interfere with the agreement. In 2008, massive street protests erupted after the country lifted a ban on imports of beef from the U.S.
South Korea is the last major Asian market to lift the ban on Canadian beef. Canadian imports represented about four per cent of beef consumed in Korea, but the export market was Canada’s fourth biggest.
Canada protested to the World Trade Organization in 2009 over South Korea dragging its feet on lifting the ban after Canada was declared a “controlled BSE risk” country by the World Organization for Animal Health in 2007, reports the Wall Street Journal.