Year-round cattle imports approved

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OTTAWA, Ont. — The Canadian government has opened the door for year-round purchasing of U.S. cattle by Canadian feedlots, much to the delight of beef farmers and agricultural haulers.

Previously, Canadian feedlots were only able to import U.S. cattle between the months of October and April, due to the Restricted Feeder Import Program. Those months were considered the safest to avoid spreading diseases such as Anaplasmosis and Bluetongue, says the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA).

U.S. states must now apply to be recognized as low-risk areas, which will pave the way for year-round trade.

The CCA says this is a big step forward, since there were more than 209,000 cattle imported to Canadian feedlots last year from Alaska, New York, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota and Washington alone.

“The U.S. is Canada’s largest export market for finished cattle and beef,” says Ben Thorlakson, past president of the CCA. “Both Canadian and U.S. cattle producers will benefit from more open trade between our two countries. CCA has been lobbying the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to amend this regulation for many years.”

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