APHIS Places "Port Hold" on European MBMsThursday, December 7, 2000
In the wake of EU’s recent ban on meat and bone meal, USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) yesterday placed a "port hold" on all imports of meat and bone meal (MBM) from all European countries. Three years ago, APHIS restricted the importation of all live ruminants and most ruminant products from all European countries. This prohibition included all MBM from ruminants but did not include products from nonruminants, such as swine and poultry. Yesterday's action will effect all MBM, blood meal, tankage, offal or any product containing such, which originates directly from Europe or was rendered/processed, in European plants processing animal materials, regardless of species of origin. APHIS acknowledges that imports of these products are minimal, but the agency feels that restrictions are necessary due to the possibility of cross contamination with the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) agent and the need to mirror actions taken by EU authorities. APHIS acted to hold all European imported MBM at ports of entry until the agency drafts a regulation officially banning such imports. Just as the EU decided, APHIS will likely agree to consider importation of poultry or fish meal, if produced under specific conditions. The EU Council of Agriculture Ministers on December 11 agreed to impose a six-month, renewable ban on the inclusion of meat and bone meal in all livestock feed. The ban will also stop imports of this product into as well as exports from the EU. The action was prompted by a resurgence in confirmed cases of BSE.