February 1, 2008
February 1, 2008 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is amending its regulations regarding the importation of animals and animal products. APHIS is removing several restrictions regarding animal identification and ruminant materials processing from regions that present a minimal risk of introducing bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) into the United States. Currently, Canada is the only country that meets the requirements for a minimal-risk region.
This amended rule makes final several non-substantial changes from a proposed rule and becomes effective Feb. 19, 2008.
In particular, the rule allows for individual identification of animals by means other than ear tags and the importation of hide-derived gelatin for any use.
As the regulation relates to sheep and goats imported from Canada, ewes must not be pregnant when entering the United States, lambs must be less than 12 months of age when imported into the United States and when slaughtered, sheep must be from a flock subject to a ruminant feed ban equivalent to the requirements established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and they must be officially identified with unique individual identification that is traceable to the premises of origin of the animal. Animals may be moved from the port of entry only to a designated feedlot or to a recognized slaughtering establishment.
The full rule can be read at http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20081800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/E8-883.htm