Japan relaxes imported-beef restrictions for four countries, including Canada

OTTAWA – Canadian cattle producers say they’re pleased Japan is relaxing restrictions on imported beef from Canada and three other countries a decade after raising barriers amid the so-called mad cow disease scare.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry announced Monday it will allow imports of beef from cows up to 30 months old, effective this Friday. The previous standard was to ban imports of beef from animals older than 20 months.

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Disruptive year in beef industry ends well for ranchers thanks to high prices

The market hates uncertainty, and ranchers hate feeding cattle longer than they have to, but at the end of a year that saw major disruptions in the beef industry, cattlemen and women are feeling for the most part that strong prices helped them weather the storm.

Attendance at this year’s All-Beef Pen Show at the Medicine Hat Stampede this weekend is a good indication.

“We felt that with the industry a little softer that there wouldn’t be as many guys showing up,” said Jim Tennant, the Stampede’s manager of corporate development and marketing.

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Beef official has high hopes for industry

Alberta beef as a brand hasn’t suffered long-term damage because of the E. coli outbreak at the XL processing plant in Brooks.

That was the message Ted Haney, president of Ranch 4 International, a family business Haney set up to provide management and logistical support services to meat companies, brought to Thursday’s Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs. Haney, who was born and raised in Picture Butte, also managed the Canadian Beef Export Federation for 20 years.

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