Finally, Belize has successfully exported a legal truckload of cattle to Mexico. In the 90’s the BEEF trade thrived between the neighboring countries, but that was before mad cow and foot and mouth disease. Since then, the Mexicans, as part of NAFTA, were forced to enact strict standards for animal health, and it took Belize more than a decade to catch up. But, finally, we have and yesterday after some ominous delays, the Mexican Cattle Truck pulled into Blue Creek, all the inspections and paper work were taken care of, the shipment was sealed by BAHA, and then sent off to the northern border crossing. When it finally made it across a collective sigh was surely heard. As the cattle-men explain, it’s an opportune time to get the trade going:

Albert Reimer, Cattle owner
“We’ve been working on this for a long time. It’s finally coming to past we think, if we can get them across the border and we hope that this is the opening of a new business, enterprise that we are going to follow. We need more market and I think it’s going to help the beef industry a lot. This has been a learning experience for us because we now see what the quality is and that they require and also the sanitation requirements that we have to meet and we have to learn to have product that’s constant. I refer to as a box of Corn Flakes, when you buy you know what you get. That’s what we need to do with our animals; they have to be the same quality, size, sanitation requirement every time.”

Miguel Depaz, Director, Animal Health
“If you notice each animal has on an official ear tag which allows for the animal to be trace back from the slaughter plant in Mexico to the farm of origin. The animal must also be free of ticks. If you notice previously the Mexican veterinarians were doing a meticulous inspection and making sure that the animals are indeed free of ticks.”

Albert Reimer, Cattle owner
“We’ve been looking at the Mexican market for a long time, they need beef. The world price is a lot higher than Belize, so we are hoping to cash in on some of the benefits.”

Miguel Depaz, Director, Animal Health
“This is good for Belize because our famer can now increase his herd and pastures that are not being used for anything could be developed for rearing cattle and we could develop this market and build on this industry.”

The cattle sells for one dollars seventy five cents per pound – which is more attractive than the local or black market price.

http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=24827

 

 

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