January 11, 2008
January 11 2008 - The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) responded to the request by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to comment on a proposed voluntary standard for a naturally raised marketing claim for livestock and meat.
ASI comments state, "The low-input manner in which most U.S. sheep are produced avails a large percentage of lamb production to generally qualify for a 'natural' designation. Most U.S. sheep are reared on forage-based diets, composed mainly of native species.
"The proposed standards for 'naturally raised' claims are generally consistent with current industry practices with one primary exception, the prohibition of coccidiostats.
"The prevention and/or treatment of coccidiosis in sheep is considered by the industry and veterinarians to be necessary for the health and general well being of lambs as is the prevention and treatment of other types of parasitism. AMS lists parasite control products as allowable along with vaccines, antibody preparations, etc. We believe that the control of coccidia is consistent with this intention and should also be allowed.
"Therefore, ASI urges AMS to allow the use of coccidiostats in sheep that would qualify for the 'naturally raised' claim."
ASI's comments can be viewed at www.sheepusa.org
. Comments must be received on or before Jan. 28, 2008, to be considered. Complete details can be found in the Federal Register