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American Meat Institute Applauds Agriculture Secretary Schafer’s Prompt Response to Industry Petition to Ban All Non-Ambulatory Cattle from the Beef Supply

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Washington, DC – The American Meat Institute (AMI) today applauded USDA’s response to its petition to prevent all non-ambulatory cattle from entering the beef supply.

Since early 2004, non-ambulatory cattle that arrive at packing plants have been prohibited from the meat supply.  However, USDA has permitted animals that arrive ambulatory, pass veterinary inspection and become non-ambulatory to undergo a second inspection.  On a case by case basis, some healthy, but non-ambulatory cattle have entered the meat supply with federal veterinary approval.

On April 22, AMI, together with the National Meat Association and the National Milk Producers Federation, petitioned USDA and asked the department to end the option to have a second inspection.

At the time, AMI President J. Patrick Boyle said it “makes good sense” that the provision that allows non-ambulatory cattle to be reinserted for slaughter be rescinded.  He told the media that “Allowing the current rule to remain in force could ultimately undermine the confidence of U.S. consumers and foreign customers, in markets that are proving difficult to reopen in the first place.”

 “We appreciate the Department’s prompt response and timely action,” Boyle said today.

 To see a copy of the industry petition, go to:  http://www.meatinstitute.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/11881

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