by BETTER FARMING STAFF
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing to modernize its import regulations for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). The proposed changes are based on World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines, which Canada also follows.
The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, in a statement welcoming the proposed change, observes that “Canada’s cattle and beef trade with the U.S. has already, for all practical purposes, been normalized from the trade interruption following the May 2003 detection of BSE in a Canadian cow. Having the U.S. adhere to OIE standards would make Canada’s access to the U.S. more secure and encourage other countries to adopt these international, science-based guidelines.”
OIE guidelines allow for live cattle and beef products to be safely traded, provided that countries have taken appropriate steps to manage BSE, such as feed controls and surveillance.
Canada manages BSE by prohibiting risk materials from entering the human food and animal feed chains and testing cattle for BSE.
The USDA is accepting comments on the proposal for 60 days. BF