Beef from cattle of all ages may now be exported to the United Arab Emirates.
The UAE is the first country in the Gulf Cooperation Council to fully open its borders. The trade could be worth about $1.3 million annually, said a federal government news release. It first agreed to buy beef from cattle younger than 30 months and has accepted live cattle since last December.
Current trade in youthful beef is worth about $1 million annually. Accepting beef from mature cattle could be worth an additional $365,000 per year.
However, there are caveats in this wealthy marketplace. There is a desire for grain-fed beef in the Middle East but much of it must be processed in a halal certified plant. Specific requirements must be met for stunning and bleeding out all livestock and poultry.
Each Muslim country may have a slightly different standard, said Ron Glaser, a spokesperson for Canada Beef.
The UAE joins 70 countries that have either fully or partially re-established access for Canadian beef since closing borders in 2003 due to the diagnosis of BSE.