Canadian breeding cattle are now welcome again in Columbia

Canadian breeding cattle are back in Colombia after almost 10 years of trade restrictions, Agricul­ture Minister Gerry Ritz an­nounced Aug. 13.

“This first shipment of high quality, Canadian cattle shows how important our partnership is with Colombia – a market full of new agricultural trade opportunities that will make a difference to the bottom line of Canadian farmers,” said Ritz.

After years of work federal government and the Canadian cattle industry, 60 Canadian heifers will be exported to Colombia for breeding pur­pos­es and milk production. That is an big development for Colom­bian breeders, who can now benefit from Canada’s world-class genetics to improve qual­ity and production of local live­stock.

“Once implemented, the recently finalized Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agree­ment will help our agriculture industry and will pay great divi­dends for our entire eco­no­my year after year,” said In­ternational Trade Minister Peter Van Loan.  “Our govern­ment will continue to work to strengthen the economy so that Canada can continue to pull out of this global economic reces­sion and become stronger than ever.”

“Canadian Livestock Gen­etics Association (CLGA) and Jersey Canada are pleased to see Canadian cattle going to Colombia once again and are particularly proud that the first animals to be exported are Jerseys,” said Russell Gam­mon, executive secretary of Jersey Canada and President of CLGA. “We congratulate the buy­ers and the sellers and we thank Ritz for his ongoing per­sonal commitment to maximize global market access for Cana­dian livestock genetics prod­ucts. Working with government and industry in both countries, CLGA played an important role in restoring market access.”

Last April, Ritz and Van Loan announced the reopening of the Colombian market to Canadian cattle. Colombia was the first country in South America to reopen its market to Canadian cattle since 2003, which has a market value estimated by the industry to be worth more than $2-million a year.