USDA Proposes to Lift BSE Ban on Sheep and Sheep Products
July 22, 2016

"The sheep industry has been expecting this rule for a number of years," said American Sheep Industry Association Executive Director Peter Orwick. "In the coming weeks, ASI will be reviewing the proposed rule in detail and will be developing its comments for submission."

The current import regulations prohibit the importation of most live sheep and goats and their products from countries considered a risk for BSE. These were established when the risk of sheep and goats related to BSE was not well known. These regulations also protect against the introduction of other TSEs, such as scrapie. The restrictions have disrupted trade and caused economic hardship for U.S. producers seeking to introduce new genetics into their flock.

Processed animal protein that contains ruminant materials will continue to be considered a BSE risk and, therefore, will continue to be restricted from countries that are not negligible risk for BSE.

With the removal of the BSE restrictions, it will also be easier to move sheep and goat casings (animal intestines) of both U.S. and foreign origin, as well as the products that contain them.

This proposed rule is available in the Federal Register at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-07-18/pdf/2016-16816.pdf. Those interested in submitting comments can do so at www.regulations.gov/docket?D=APHIS-2009-0095. All comments are due by Sept. 16, 2016.