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United States, Canada, Mexico Agree On Protocols For Breeding Cattle Trade

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

(American Meat Institute)

Effective protocols for the trade of breeding cattle born after Jan. 1, 1999, consistent with World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) standards, were agreed to by USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Mexico's Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación (SAGARPA) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) on March 29.

The harmonization of North American standards reaffirms the U.S. position that cattle can be traded safely when countries follow the OIE standards for effectively managing the risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and further ensures that trade protocols for Canada, Mexico and the United States are consistent among those countries and with OIE.

In May 2007, the OIE formally classified the United States as a controlled risk country for BSE. This status confirmed that U.S. BSE regulatory controls are effective and that U.S. beef and beef products of all ages can be safely traded.

The new protocols outline conditions for the export of U.S. and Canadian cattle to Mexico. Canadian exporters will need to obtain import permits from APHIS and SAGARPA, as well as a health certificate from CFIA. Shipments will be inspected by U.S. and Mexican officials. This agreement paves the way to normalize all beef trade with Mexico, which should be completed in the near future.

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