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News Update
Nov. 30, 2005

USDA Amends Regulations for Handling of Canadian Ruminant Products

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced yesterday it is amending regulations regarding the handling of shipments of ruminants from Canada and the transloading of ruminant products and byproducts that travel across the United States by land from Canada to Mexico or to another country.

According to an APHIS release, in the interim rule, the agency is proposing that the seals on the vehicle used to move animals from Canada — either to a feedlot or to a harvesting facility — must be broken by an authorized USDA representative to allow animals in transit to be offloaded in a timely manner at their destination, while still maintaining the integrity of the shipment.

An authorized USDA representative is defined as an APHIS Veterinary Services (VS) employee; a USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) inspector; a state representative; an accredited veterinarian; or an employee of an accredited veterinarian, harvesting establishment, or feedlot who is designated by the accredited veterinarian or management of the harvesting establishment or feedlot to perform the function involved.

In addition, the interim rule will allow the direct transloading at the U.S. border of Canadian ruminant products and byproducts destined for use outside of the United States under federal supervision.

This interim rule was scheduled to appear in the Nov. 28 Federal Register and is effective upon publication.

Consideration will be given to comments received on or before Jan. 27, 2006. Send anoriginal and three copies of postal mail or commercial delivery comments to Docket No. 03-080-8, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3C71, 4700 River Rd., Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. If you wish to submit an online comment, go to the Federal eRulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov and, in the “Search for Open Regulations” box, select “Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service” from the agency drop-down menu, then click on “Submit.” In the Docket ID column, select APHIS-2005-0003 to submit or view public comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically.


Senate Urges USDA to Consider Digital RFID Technology in ID Program

The U.S. Senate has set aside more than $33 million for projects related to the national animal identification (ID) program in its version of the fiscal year (FY) 2006 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, according to Yahoo Financial News.

According to the news service, the Senate’s version suggests USDA consider Digital Angel Corp.’s radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. The company currently provides the government with electronic tags and scanners to track salmon in Northwest fisheries.

South Korea Delays Decision on Beef Imports

South Korea again delayed announcing its decision regarding the safety of U.S. beef and whether the country will resume U.S. beef imports, The Korea Times reports.

A livestock quarantine panel met Tuesday to review the U.S. beef ban; however, the panel did not reach an agreement. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry released a statement saying it will conduct another meeting in two weeks.

Prior to the panel discussion, the Korean Advanced Farmers Association (KAFA) announced that it would protest if the government reopened the country’s doors to U.S. beef, the article noted.

—by Crystal Albers, Angus Productions Inc.

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