The Japanese Government said yesterday (20 March) that inspectors have approved all eight of the Canadian beef processing plants that export products to the Asian country.


In 2003, Japan banned the importation of beef from Canada and the US when mad cow disease was detected in North America. The ban was lifted last December, only to be implemented again when prohibited spinal material was found in a shipment of US veal.


Japanese inspectors have now completed a tour of Canadian processing plants and, the Toronto Star reports, all eight plants have been given permission to export to Japan.


Before the ban was introduced in 2003, Japan was the third biggest export market for Canadian beef after the US and Mexico.