Background

The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is seeking comments by Sept. 16 on a proposal to amend the regulations that govern the importation of animals and animal products to revise the conditions for the importation of live sheep, goats and certain other non-bovine ruminants, as well as products derived from sheep and goats, with regard to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy and scrapie. Specifically, APHIS is proposing to remove BSE-related import restrictions on sheep and goats and most of their products and add import restrictions related to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies for certain wild, zoological or other non-bovine ruminant species.

APHIS indicates that the proposed conditions for the importation of specified commodities are based on internationally accepted scientific literature and will generally align U.S. regulations with guidelines set out in the World Organization for Animal Health’s Terrestrial Animal Health Code.

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