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BSE Investigation Expected to Impact Pork and Poultry Demand

by 5m Editor
22 May 2003, at 12:00am

CANADA - Canada Pork International says a mad cow disease investigation underway in Alberta could potentially increase the domestic demand for pork but it will likely have a minimal impact on export demand.

Manitoba Pork Council


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The US and several other countries have banned the import of Canadian beef, beef byproducts and live cattle on confirmation that an eight year old cow in Northern Alberta was infected with BSE.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is taking steps to track the source of the animal and find out how it became infected in an effort to minimize the impact of the situation on trade.

Canada Pork International Assistant Executive Director Martin Lavoie says results of that investigation will be the key factor in determining the potential spill-over impact on demand for competing meats.

"From experiences in other countries, in the case of BSE, we've seen a switch of protein from beef to poultry and pork.

This is one scenario that we can anticipate as a result of the BSE crisis in Alberta. That may lead to an increased consumption of pork and chicken in Canada but it's really soon to evaluate the impacts because we don't know the result of the investigation or if it's limited to one case or if we're going to find more BSE cases in Canada."

Lavoie says the impact on export demand for pork will be determined by the potential fluctuations in beef prices in various countries, particularly Canada and the United States. He says, although BSE does not affect hogs, several international customers have been asking questions about the situation and Canada Pork International is monitoring.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor