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AMI Statement: On Increased Surveillance of Cattle for BSE

Monday, March 15, 2004

Attribute Statement to AMI President J. Patrick Boyle

AMI supports an aggressive surveillance program for BSE in U.S. cattle. USDA's current testing program far exceeds international testing standards - by a factor of nearly 40 times. An expansion of the surveillance program from approximately 20,000 animals tested in 2003 to a projected 270,000 is extraordinary and reflects a commitment by the United States to find BSE if it is present in herds and to contain it rapidly if it does occur.

It is important to remember that cattle testing is part of an animal disease monitoring and prevention program. Because the infectious agent is not in meat and because the “specified risk materials” that can carry the infectious agent are removed, U.S. beef is safe.

This announcement, coupled with additional regulatory measures implemented recently by USDA and FDA, should further bolster our trading partners’ confidence in U.S. animal disease prevention efforts. We again urge trading partners to take immediate actions to reestablish beef trade with the U.S.

For more information contact:
Janet Riley
Senior VP, Public Affairs
Ayoka Blandford
Manager, Public Affairs

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