APHIS Amends BSE Minimal-Risk Rule
December 2, 2005
December 2, 2005 -- This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published an interim rule to amend Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Minimal-Risk Regions and Importation of Commodities rule. The interim rule, published in Monday's Federal Register, is intended to correct two effects of the Jan. 4, 2005, final rule by removing specific restrictions on (1) who is allowed to break official seals on shipments of Canadian cattle received at feedlots and slaughtering facilities and (2) the transit shipment through the United States of Canadian-ruminant products and byproducts destined for Mexico.
This rule establishes a category of regions that present a minimal risk of introducing BSE into the United States via live ruminants and ruminant products and byproducts, and added Canada to this category. It also established conditions for the importation of certain live ruminants and ruminant products and byproducts from such regions.
Due to concerns about the humane handling of imported livestock, APHIS indicates that this interim rule is effective Nov. 28. However, public comments regarding this rule will be accepted until Jan. 27, 2006. All comments will be considered in the final rule.
The full text of this interim minimal-risk rule can be accessed at: http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20051800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2005/05-23334.htm.