The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) commends the announcement today by the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), that it has completed its efforts to modernize import regulations for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). This final import regulation is based on internationally-accepted scientific literature and the standards set by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
"The basis of these import regulations, set on internationally-accepted science and the OIE guidelines, is critical in showing that the U.S. is committed to ensuring trade, unfettered by protectionist motivations, and sends a clear message to our trading partners of the value we place on fair trade," said Scott George, NCBA president and Cody, Wyo. cattleman. "I am pleased that NCBA has been a leader on this issue since 2003 and that the USDA/APHIS incorporated the comments of cattle producers in finalizing these regulations. These regulations show that cattlemen and women not only talk about market access, but that we stand behind it."
This regulation, also known as the comprehensive BSE rule, brings the U.S. into compliance with international trade standards without compromising the interlocking safeguards against BSE that are currently in place.
"This is great news for the U.S. cattle industry and integral to our efforts to further international trade," George said. "With these import regulations set, I am confident we will be able to expand our market access and meet international demand for high quality U.S. beef. We greatly appreciate the work of USDA Secretary Vilsack and the entire team at USDA/APHIS."
The comprehensive BSE rule will solidify the United States' commitment to basing our trade relationships on internationally-recognized, science-based standards. When this rule is in effect, the U.S. will use the same criteria and categories as the OIE to identify a country's BSE risk status. This rule will be published in the Federal Register and will become effective 90 days after publication.