Regulations on Branding of Bovines Imported from Mexico Amended
The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has amended the regulations regarding the branding of bovines imported into the U.S. from Mexico in an effort to prevent inconsistencies in branding that can result in bovines being rejected for import into the U.S. The new provisions will apply from Jan. 14.
Currently, cattle from Mexico carry at least two forms of identification, generally a brand and an approved ear tag. Cattle imported from Mexico for other than immediate slaughter are required to be branded with an “M” for steers, an “Mx” for spayed heifers, and an “MX” brand or tattoo for breeding bovines. This rule will change the requirements to increase the size of the brands, simplify them to a simple “M,” and move the brands for sexually intact bovines to the right shoulder of the animal.
APHIS states that these changes will help reduce or eliminate branding errors, which in turn would reduce the need for rebranding and the incidence of cattle rejections at port-of-entry inspection. The changes to the description of the placement of the brand for steers and spayed heifers clarifies the requirement by making the description more specific.