USDA Rule Revising Beef Import Regulations to Take Effect March 4
A Department of Agriculture final rule revising the conditions for the importation of live bovines and products derived from bovines with regard to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or mad cow disease) will be published in the Dec. 4 Federal Register. As a result, the rule will take effect March 4, 2014, and countries will be able to export to the U.S. under its provisions after that date.
Under this rule importation conditions will be based on the inherent risk of BSE infectivity in specified commodities as well as the BSE risk status of the region in which the commodities originate, using a system consistent with that employed by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). This rule also removes BSE restrictions on the importation of cervids and camelids and products derived therefrom.
The USDA has also issued a notice of its preliminary concurrence with the OIE’s BSE risk designations of for 14 regions. Regions designated as negligible risk are Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore and Slovenia. Regions designated as controlled risk are Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Nicaragua and Taiwan. Comments are due no later than Feb. 3.