Thursday, May 23, 2019

Zoning for African Swine Fever

If African Swine Fever breaks out on a hog farm in Canada or the United States, rather than outright trade bans the two have agreed to divide their nations into zones.

The United States Department of Agriculture and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced their deal this week.

They are changing their export certificates to allow trade of live swine, swine semen, pet food and animal by-products and meat to continue in approved disease-free zones in the event of an ASF outbreak, the chief veterinary officers for both nations said in a joint statement.

The agreement builds on zoning arrangements entered into by CFIA and USDA last August that established principles for zoning and trade.

The U.S. Meat Export Federation this week said the Chinese retail pork market appears to have stabilized for the time being, with meat cases stocked and price increases muted, despite estimates that China has lost more than 20 per cent of its hog herd to ASF.

Reuters said China has reported more than 120 outbreaks of the disease in all of its mainland provinces and regions, as well as Hainan island and Hong Kong, since it was first detected in the country in early August.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Japan lifts BSE ban

Japan has lifted the final restrictions it imposed in May, 2003, after an Alberta cow died of bovine spongiform encepthalopathy (BSE, or mad cow’s disease).

Japan first relaxed its ban to exempt beef from animals too young to be considered a risk of spreading BSE. Now it will accept beef from cattle of any age.

It is also reducing its tariffs, first from 38.5 to 26.6 per cent and, over the next 14 years to nine per cent. That’s part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

Japan and the United States also announced a new trade deal that gives the U.S. much more open access to the Japanese market.

The Canadian agriculture department said the new deal with Japan could lead to a 20 per cent increase in beef exports to Japan.

Fire destroys bank barn and 12 cattle

Fire destroyed a bank barn south of Moorefield, 12 cattle died, but 50 were rescued.

The fire started in the upstairs of the century-old barn on Concession 6 Mapleton Township.

Wellington County OPP and Mapleton Fire and Rescue responded to a fire on Monday afternoon.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Nothing extra virgin about olive oil

A Quebec company has been fined $4,000 because it falsely labelled its product extra virgin olive oil.

There have been many complaints over the last 20 years about this type of cheating in the olive oil market.

The Montreal-based company 9301-1062 Québec Inc., operating as "Aliments Gaudium" pled guilty to a violation of the Food and Drugs Act.

Besides the fine, the Court of Québec ordered the confiscation and destruction of the offending products.

CFIA suspends La Stella Foods licence

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has suspended the licence of La Stella Foods Manufacturing Ltd. of Burnaby, B.C.

The CFIA said the company failed to come up to snuff for sanitation and pest control.

Suspensions are usually a last resort after CFIA notices fail to elicit the desired company response.

La Stella is a dairy-industry company.

Canada lifts meat tariffs against the U.S.

Canada has lifted a long list of tariffs now that the United States has scrapped its 25 per cent tariff on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum.

Mexico has also lifted its tariffs, including 20 per cent on U.S. pork that helped depress hog prices in both the United States and Canada.

It remains to be seen whether hog prices will now rise. China still has tariffs on U.S. pork and that also pressures hog prices lower.

Canada applied a 10 per cent duty on U.S. cooked/prepared beef products. 

According to the U.S. Meat Export Federation, U.S. beef exports to Canada were down 14 per cent in both volume (23,199 metric tons) and value ($143.8 million) in the first quarter of 2019. 

David Herring, president of the National Pork Producers Council  in the United States said "Mexico's 20 per retaliatory tariff on U.S. pork has cost our producers $12 per animal, or $1.5 billion on an annualized, industry-wide basis.”

Friday, May 17, 2019

OFA urges action against animal activist invasions

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture is advising farmers to take action before more animal activists try to invade farms.

There have been a number of invasions and so far no successful law-enforcement convictions.

The OFA list of advice is:

  • Post No Trespassing signs and any necessary biosecurity signs to clearly mark private property.
  • Lock all building doors and vehicles. Remove keys from tractors and equipment and store them somewhere safe.
  • Monitor visitors and watch for suspicious vehicles or activities on or around farm property.
  • Consider adding video surveillance to barns or high traffic areas of the farm.
  • Train family and employees how to respond to unwanted visitors and situations that would require calling police.