USDA Minimal Risk Rule For Cattle And Beef

US - USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today announced that it will make final a proposed rule to expand the list of allowable beef and cattle imports from countries recognized as presenting a minimal risk of introducing bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) into the United States.
calendar icon 17 September 2007
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APHIS Administrator Dr. John Clifford told reporters today that the peer reviewers “believe that the assumptions in the risk assessment represent the worst case scenarios and that the overall findings are reasonable.”

The rule would allow the importation of:

  • live cattle and other bovines for any use born on or after March 1, 1999;
  • all beef and beef products;
  • blood and blood products derived from bovines, collected under certain conditions; and,
  • casings and part of the small intestine derived from bovines.
“The risk of BSE being established in the U.S. as a result of these regulations is negligible.”

APHIS Administrator Dr. John Clifford

Clifford told the media affirmatively that, “The risk of BSE being established in the U.S. as a result of these regulations is negligible.” The proposed rule brings the U.S. into close alignment with internationally recognized World Organization of Animal Health (OIE) guidelines.

According to Agriculture Department officials, the proposed listing of additional items for importation is based upon a thorough risk assessment completed by APHIS, which found that the risk associated with these commodities is minimal.

“The announcement of the rule today is based upon careful and thoughtful review of the science,” said AMI President J. Patrick Boyle “Full restoration of cattle and beef trade with Canada is scientifically justified and appropriate under international animal health guidelines.”

Once finalized, the rule would expand upon the January 2005 rule that allowed the importation of certain live ruminants and ruminant products, including cattle less than 30 months of age for delivery to a slaughterhouse or feedlot, from countries recognized as minimal risk.

The agency said the rule will appear in the September 18 Federal Register and will take effect November 19. For additional information, visit the APHIS Web site,

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