September 18, 2003
US To Propose Rule For Canadian Cattle Rule
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman announced Wednesday the USDA will publish a draft for entry of Canadian cattle in the U.S. within "in a matter of weeks, not months".
This rule proposal, to be publish in the Federal Register, marks the first step in a months long process.
The U.S. banned all Canadian beef and cattle in May when a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad-cow disease, was discovered there. The USDA eased the ban on some boneless beef products on Aug. 8, but said it would not be able to do the same for live cattle until the department went through a full rule-making process.
USDA Undersecretary Bill Hawks, head of USDA's marketing and regulatory programs, said recently, "Under a normal rule-making process, I would say that it will take some several months...to address that."
The proposed rule will be simple and to the point, said Bobby Acord, administrator of USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Only cattle under 30 months old will be approved, he added, stressing that as the main point, as the U.S. considers cattle under 30 months of age to be free of BSE.