March 17, 2006 -- In a final rule published in the Federal Register on Jan. 4, 2005, the U.S. Department of Agriculture?s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) amended the regulations regarding the importation of animals and animal products to establish a category of regions that present a minimal risk of introducing bovine spongiform encephalopathy into the United States via live ruminants and ruminant products and byproducts, and added Canada to this category. APHIS also established conditions for the importation of certain live ruminants and ruminant products and byproducts from such regions.
In the technical amendments published in the Federal Register this week, APHIS is clarifying the intent with regard to certain provisions in the final rule and is correcting several inconsistencies within the rule. These technical amendments were effective March 14, 2006, and will clarify the regulations.
?No changes are being made to the original rule with this recent posting,? stated Paul Rodgers, deputy director of policy for the American Sheep Industry Association. ?Essentially, these amendments are to clarify the requirements.?
The rule states that sheep may be imported from Canada, a minimal-risk region, only if they are 12 months of age or less and going directly to slaughter or if they are going to a feedlot and will be slaughtered by the time they are 12 month of age. Sheep entering the United States must be individually identified and traceable to the premise of origin, be accompanied by a health certificate and may not be pregnant.
Staff contact: Paul Rodgers, 303-771-3500