February 25, 2004

 

 

US To Re-open Border To Canadian Cattle
 
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said Tuesday the department is now reviewing an earlier- proposed rule to allow live Canadian cattle into the U.S. and it may make changes.
 
The USDA previously put consideration of the rule on hold after it discovered a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad-cow disease, in the U.S. in December but now that the USDA investigation of that case has been closed, the USDA is reviewing the rule to see if any changes need to be made.
 
Veneman also stressed that a new public comment period may need to be held if changes to the rule are made.
 
The rule-making process can be lengthy with comment periods averaging 60 to 90 days, and Veneman declined to predict even if the rule could be finished this year.
 
Canada first announced it had discovered a single BSE case on May 20, and the U.S. immediately banned all Canadian beef and cattle. On Aug. 8, the USDA eased the ban on some boneless beef products, which the U.S. continues to allow in from Canada.

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