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Alta Exports International Ltd. Ships 2,217 Head Of Canadian Purebred Cattle To Russia

Oct 23, 2007
By CBBC , CLGA Press Release

The Canadian Beef Breeds Council (CBBC) and the Canadian Livestock Genetics Association (CLGA) are pleased to announce that their mutual Exporter-Member - Alta Exports International Ltd. – has today shipped 2,217 Canadian purebred cattle to customers in Russia. The shipment includes 1,000 bred Angus heifers, 50 Angus bulls, 800 Holstein heifers, 17 Holstein bulls, 340 bred Hereford heifers and ten Hereford bulls. The cattle were sourced in six Canadian provinces from more than 400 farms with the assistance of Walker Dairy Sales Inc., Weavercroft International Ltd., Trudeau International Livestock Sales Ltd., and Bob Prestage of Wicklow Angus Exporting; the combined sale nets close to $4 million (CDN) for the purebred producers involved. Export Development Canada (EDC) is providing their financial services support to the shipment.

The cattle left by ship from Port du Bécancour, Québec, for the journey to Novorossiysk, a city in southern Russia and the main Russian port on the Black Sea. This shipment is the largest exportation of breeding cattle since the BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) crisis of 2003; the cattle are destined for five buyers in three regions of Russia. Alta Exports International Ltd. has successfully exported 5,700 head of breeding stock in 2007 to Russia and Kazakhstan (CIS).  

Alta Exports International Ltd. (AEI) markets livestock, embryos, genetic technologies and semen in specific export markets. The company is active in a number of technology transfer projects providing expertise in embryo production and management, semen production, livestock management and production (beef and dairy), including large embryo projects in Russia and China. 

Since 2004, AEI Principals Gary Smith and Kate Kolstad have been involved in several collaborative missions with representatives from Canadian federal and provincial agriculture agencies, industry and breed associations in order to develop markets and clear the way to export embryos, semen, and cattle to Russia.

“Our customers in Russia recognize that Canada has a unique and successful cattle identification program—an essential tool that the U.S. has not yet addressed,” says Smith. “This, and the fact that Canada is climatically similar to many regions of Russia results in a high level of customer confidence in the quality, standard and suitability of Canadian purebred cattle and genetics.” 

Alta Exports International Ltd. will support the Russian purchasers through training following the arrival of the cattle. This will include advice on livestock management and nutrition.  This program is funded in part under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Canadian Agri-Food International (CAFI) program and through the Long Term International Strategy (LTIS) developed and implemented yearly by Canadian Beef Breeds Council on behalf of Canada’s purebred beef cattle producers. Previous sales of beef cattle embryos by AEI were supported in this manner. Dairy management training will also be provided and this is partially funded through CLGA, which develops a similar LTIS to CBBC on behalf of the Canadian purebred dairy industry.

The Canadian Beef Breeds Council (CBBC) represents the Canadian purebred cattle industry. Its members include national breed associations that in turn represent more than 10,000 producers of breeding stock. Associate CBBC members are exporters and service providers. The mandate of the CBBC includes: Animal health policy; Trade access and market development; Genetic improvement; Research and development; Education and extension.

The Canadian Livestock Genetics Association (CLGA) is a nationwide, not-for-profit trade association representing the market access and animal health interests of those involved in the sale, service and promotion of livestock genetics both domestically and internationally.

For more information, contact:

Alta Exports International Ltd.
Gary Smith, C: 403.350.9802
Kate Kolstad, C: 403.861.8311

Herb McLane, Executive Vice President, Canadian Beef Breeds Council
T: 403.730.0350, C: 403.901.5090

Rick McRonald, Executive Director, Canadian Livestock Genetics Association (CLGA)
T: 519.821.5200, C: 519.820.7007

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