China resumes imports of Canadian breeding hogs

by Bryan Salvage
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OTTAWA, ONTARIO — Last week, the Canadian pork industry welcomed the announcement that the Canadian government has finalized an agreement to re-open the Chinese market to Canadian exports of live hogs for breeding stock. The Chinese market is important to Canada's pork and live swine exporters, with sales to China estimated at upwards of C$50 million ($49 million) annually in pork sales.

"This news is welcomed by Canada's pork industry," said Jurgen Preugschas, president of Canadian Pork Council (C.P.C.). "The federal government has worked tirelessly to reopen this important market for our products. The development comes after many high-level interventions from Canadian government officials."

Serious misunderstandings around the safety of pork existed due to the initial inaccurate naming of H1N1 Influenza A as swine flu. Bans on imports of pork and swine from countries with human or animal cases of H1N1 do not comply with international standards, the Canadian government said. The World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Organization for Animal Health (O.I.E.) all agree no additional trade restriction should be imposed on pork that has passed veterinary inspection.

Canada is the world's third-largest pork exporter and represents 20% of world pork trade. In 2009 Canadian pork was exported to more than 110 countries.
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