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China to increase examination of Canadian meat imports


China’s customs agency plans to increase inspections of Canadian meat and meat product imports, Ottawa said in a notice, seen by Reuters, to the industry — a move that could seriously damage the country’s industry.

The notice from the Ministry of Agriculture on Tuesday said the embassy in Beijing had been told the Chinese would open all containers of Canadian meat and meat products and in some cases 100 per cent of the contents will be inspected.

China, locked in a major diplomatic and trade dispute with Ottawa over the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, has already blocked imports of Canadian canola seed and temporarily suspended import permits from two pork plants.

Chinese officials cited “recent cases of non-compliance of pork shipments” and also said the move was linked to the risk of African swine fever and anti-smuggling measures, the ministry said in its notice.

China’s pork industry has been badly hit by a deadly outbreak of swine fever.

The Canadian Meat Council, which represents major processors, urged members to “increase significantly the surveillance and compliance with all requirements” for exports to China.

“We cannot stress enough that the slightest non-compliance could jeopardize our entire meat exports to China, which would have a disastrous effect on all CMC members,” it said in a message to members.

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