Future Rule-Making Needed for Breeding Animals to Cross Border
August 12, 2005
August 12, 2005 -- Under the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) BSE Minimal-Risk Regions Rule, only sheep less than 12 months-of-age and cattle less than 30 months-of-age are allowed to cross the Canadian border into the United States. However, this rule does not apply to the importation of breeding animals and it is not clear when the USDA will publish a rule to addresses it.
"Most likely, the USDA's next emphasis will be to work on a rule-making process that will allow the importation of cattle products and cattle over 30 months-of-age and lamb products and lamb over 12 months-of-age," said Paul Rodgers, American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) deputy director of policy. "It is not clear whether breeding animals will be addressed in that proposed rule or not."
ASI has been in communication with the USDA explaining that an aggressive Canada-wide scrapie-eradication program is needed which meets or exceeds the one being conducted in the United States and is consistent with international guidelines.
"The U.S. sheep industry and the state and federal governments are investing a large amount of resources to eradicate scrapie in the United States. USDA has conducted a national surveillance study and is actively surveilling several thousand adult sheep each month for scrapie. Therefore, we should be assured that the risk of scrapie from imported animals from any country is very low,? said Jim Logan, DVM, ASI Health Committee chairman.
Concerning other trade restrictions between the U.S. and the Canadian sheep industries, ASI has communicated with the USDA and the Canadian Sheep Federation asserting that the bluetongue restrictions on U.S. feeder lambs need to be resolved so that they are equivalent to that of U.S. feeder cattle.
Staff contact, Paul Rodgers, 303-771-3500