July 17, 2009 (5:10 p.m. EDT)
No. 199

Ministers Day and Ritz Pleased with Russia’s Decision to Lift Remaining Import Ban on Canadian Pork

The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, today welcomed Russia’s decision to lift restrictions on imports of pork, pork products and live swine from Ontario.

“During my visit to Russia, I assured my ministerial counterparts that Canadian pork is safe,” said Minister Day. “Today’s announcement by Russia demonstrates that our government is opening doors, removing trade barriers and constantly working on behalf of Canadian business and producers.”

“The decision by Russia to lift all remaining restrictions on Canadian pork will make a difference to the bottom line of our hog producers,” said Minister Ritz. “Canadian producers want to make their living from the global marketplace. That’s why our government will continue to fight for full access and fair treatment for Canadian pork producers across the world stage.”

The decision affects Ontario pork products produced before May 15 and after July 18, 2009, and means that Russia no longer has any H1N1-related restrictions on Canadian products.

Several countries have lifted import bans on Canadian products after representations by the Ministers and other Canadian officials. Earlier this month Russia lifted restrictions on pork from Quebec, as well as on non-pork meat products such as beef and poultry from Ontario.

However, some countries still impose restrictions on Canadian pork and swine, without scientifically justifiable evidence to support their actions. Ministers Day and Ritz will continue to lobby these other countries for full access for Canadian pork and swine.

In 2008, total Canadian pork exports were valued at $2.7 billion, including nearly $527 million worth of live swine exports. Minister Day led a trade mission to Russia last month, where he met with several ministers and made the request to lift the bans.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Mélisa Leclerc
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
613-992-6186

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000

Meagan Murdoch
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board
613-759-1059

Media Relations Office
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
613-759-7972
1-866-345-7972