Agriculture Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Edward Avalos visited livestock inspection facilities and announced new efforts to protect the livestock trade between the United States and Mexico. After touring a temporary inspection facility in Laredo with Congressman Henry Cuellar (Texas), Avalos announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be opening a temporary cattle inspection facility in Eagle Pass, Texas, the third temporary facility opened since the suspensions earlier this year.
"The cattle trade provides an important source of revenue for American producers and buyers and we are committed to maintaining the important trade relationship between the United States and Mexico," Avalos said. "The new inspection location announced today is part of our ongoing effort to aggressively pursue opportunities to keep trade lines open in spite of the recent security challenges."
Since March 2010, USDA has suspended activities at three different livestock inspection stations in Northern Mexico due to security concerns related to drug cartel violence. USDA took this action to protect the safety of veterinary personnel who traveled into Mexico to inspect and clear shipments of cattle destined for the United States.