OTTAWA, Ont. — How big an impact is the single case of mad cow disease detected in Alberta having on the Canadian meat shipments?
After mad cow disease was detected in Alberta on May 20, key importers of Canadian beef products, led by the U.S., closed their borders. The result: In May, shipments of meat products (including beef, pork and lamb, and excluding poultry) increased by a modest 2.5% at the Canada level, well below the average May increase observed in previous years, according to just released Statistics Canada figures. May is typically the month when consumers gear up for the summer barbecue season.
Alberta shipments of meat products dropped 5.6% in May, and animal slaughtering (excluding poultry) fell 8.4%. And keep in mind that the decreases reflect the fact that the export ban on beef products was in effect for only the last 11 days of May. The impact is expected to be more significant in the coming months as the international trade ban remains.
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