November 16, 2007
November 16, 2007 - In the Nov. 15 Federal Register, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published its final rule, which amends regulations for the importation of sheep and goat semen.
The summary states, "We are amending the regulations regarding the importation of animal germplasm by removing specific restrictions on sheep semen from regions where scrapie exists and requiring the inclusion of additional information on the international health certificate accompanying sheep and goat semen. Experience and research have convinced us that sheep and goat semen pose a minimal risk of transmitting scrapie. This action will relieve restrictions on imported sheep semen while continuing to provide safeguards against the introduction and dissemination of scrapie."
The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) formally commented on the proposed rule more than a year ago. According to ASI Health Committee Chairman Jim Logan, DVM, "APHIS accepted most of our comments, and we believe that amending these regulations to bring them more inline with international guidelines is positive for the U.S. sheep industry. This action should result in enhanced germplasm trade opportunities while at the same time provide protections for our industry."
This rule becomes effective on Dec. 17, 2007. To view the entire rule see http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2007/E7-22279.htm
Staff contact: Paul Rodgers, ext. 65