USDA Proposes to Ease Restrictions on Imports of Cattle from Mexican State
The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued a proposed rule that would remove restrictions on the importation of cattle and other ruminants from the Mexican state of Sonora and reduce the costs associated with tick dipping for exporters and importers of ruminants. Specifically, APHIS is proposing to recognize Sonora as a region in Mexico that is free of fever ticks and to establish an exemption from acaricide dipping treatment requirements (and the documentation requirements associated with such dipping) that are currently applicable to cattle and other ruminants originating from Sonora as a condition of eligibility for entry into the United States. Comments on this rule are due no later than Sept. 15.
Under this proposed rule, conditions for entry would include the following.
- the cattle are accompanied by a certificate stating that they originate from a region of Mexico free of fever ticks
- cattle transiting through an area of Mexico not determined to be free from fever ticks would have to be moved in a sealed means of conveyance
- the cattle must be presented for entry at specified ports of entry in Texas
- the cattle must be segregated at the U.S. port of entry from cattle from regions of Mexico that have not been determined to be free of fever ticks
- the importer or its agent would have to execute and deliver to the inspector at the port of entry an application for inspection or supervised dipping
- the cattle must either be inspected by an APHIS inspector at the port of entry for evidence of tick infestation or be treated with an APHIS-approved tickicidal dip under the supervision of an inspector at the port of entry (APHIS notes that this would give exporters the option of avoiding the expense of the tick dip but that some may still opt for it because it is generally less time-consuming than an inspection)
- if any cattle in a shipment are determined, upon inspection at the port of entry, to be infested with fever ticks, the entire lot would be refused entry and could subsequently only be imported after meeting the conditions for the importation of cattle from regions of Mexico that APHIS has not determined to be free from fever ticks