South Korea lifts ban on imports of Canadian beef

January 21, 2012 - 3:55 AM

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea has lifted an eight-year ban on imports of Canadian beef.

Seoul imposed the ban after mad cow disease was found in a Canadian cow in 2003. Canada has since been recognized as a "controlled risk" country for beef by the World Organization for Animal Health. Canada filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization over the South Korean ban in 2009.

South Korea's Agriculture Ministry says the ban was lifted on Friday. But it says Seoul will only allow imports of Canadian beef from cattle younger than 30 months old. Younger cows are deemed less susceptible to mad cow disease.

The ministry also said the imports must exclude riskier parts such as the brain, skull and eyes.

South Korea was Canada's fourth-largest beef export market before the ban.