CALGARY (CP) — Russia has agreed to open its borders to imports of boneless Canadian beef from animals of any age, provided the cattle can be proven free of contact with mad cow disease. The move was announced late Wednesday by the Canada Beef Export Federation, which says it received notification from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. ‘‘Russia is the first country that has clearly moved independently from the U.S. in stating what their expectations are for animals over 30 months of age,’’ said Ten Haney, president of the export federation. Boneless beef from animals 30 months of age or less, which are believed too young to develop the disease, must be certified to come from animals born and raised in Canada. They must originate from farms which have never recorded a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as BSE. Animals over 30 months of age must be tested and found free of BSE. Haney said the testing costs could be between $25 and $100 per animal and could depend on the scale of testing. It’s not known if the tests would have to be done by federal food inspectors. Any Canadian slaughterhouses and meat-packing plants exporting to Russia must be pre-approved by the Russian veterinary authority. Haney expects that process to take about six weeks. Canada’s beef industry has lost more than $1 billion exports alone since May 20, when it was learned a lone Alberta cow had been infected with BSE. Thirty-four countries banned Canadian beef in the days following the announcement and live cattle imports remain banned in all international markets. The infected cow never made it into the human food chain. The United States and Mexico have recently agreed to allow imports of some boneless cuts from animals under 30 months of age, which are believed too young to develop the disease. Other countries are expected to follow suit in the coming days, including Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. Foreign Affairs spokesman Andre LeMay could not immediately confirm a deal had been signed with Russia. Prior to the mad cow crisis, Russia was a tiny customer for Canadian beef products, importing about $2 million a year in liver. But Haney said that may change. ‘‘While Russia has not been a key export market for Canada to date, suppliers from South America and Europe have exported over 600,000 metric tonnes to Russia annually,’’ Haney said.