December 19, 2003
Dec. 19, 2003 -- In a teleconference meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 10, the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI)?executive board approved the submission of comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on three proposed rules filed in Federal Register?notices.
??ASI strongly supports implementation of mandatory country-of-origin-labeling for lamb.?The comments include an economic analysis supporting the mandatory rule as well as the supportive comments submitted by the industry earlier in the year, which further document the need to implement the labeling measure.?USDA announced this week an extension of the comment period to Feb. 27, 2004, providing individual sheep producers and state sheep organizations with additional time to comment on this important rule.
Mandatory Price Reporting.
ASI?adamantly?supports the changes proposed by USDA?s Agricultural Marketing Service to provide better market information, particularly the inclusion of imported lamb meat and the definition of ?carlot-based? transactions.
BSE/Minimal Risk Regions.
USDA proposed further opening of trade with Canada. The board discussed the possibility of re-opening the market in an orderly fashion to reduce the impact on U.S. lamb prices. ASI agrees with the general proposal to re-start trade on lambs 12 months of age and under going directly to slaughter.?Any trade in feeder lambs would be supported only with a number of specific conditions. Changes required in Canadian protocol for reciprocal trade with U.S. sheep are also an important part of the ASI comments.
The approved comments to the Federal Registers can be viewed in their entirety at: ASI Comments
. Sheep producers are encouraged to comment on these important issues.?
Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33