The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has eliminated all bluetongue-related import restrictions on U.S. cattle entering Canada. It also reduced testing requirements for anaplasmosis, and removed import bans on U.S. sheep, goats and other small ruminants.

National Cattlemen's Beef Association executive secretary Terry Stokes said CFIA's move toward a science-based permit system for ruminant animal imports is extremely important for U.S. producers of breeding stock -- eliminating unnecessary procedures and costs. He said Canada's new regulatory plan is also significant for producers who don't export live cattle, because it represents further progress toward reliable, science-based trade.

"If we're going to ask U.S. cattlemen to compete in a global economy, then our trading partners need to reciprocate and open their markets to our cattle without imposing unjustified trade barriers," Stokes said.

-- Joe Roybal