ID NEWS: USDA proposes rule that would help end Canadian beef ban

WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a proposed rule to amend its bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) regs to establish a new category of regions that recognizes those that present a "minimal risk" of introducing BSE into the U.S. via the importation of certain "low-risk" live ruminants and ruminant products.

The proposed minimal risk region would include areas in which an animal has been diagnosed with BSE but in which specific preventive measures have been in place for an appropriate period of time that reduce the risk of BSE introduction into the U.S.

Based on a comprehensive risk analysis and review, USDA believes that the surveillance, prevention and control measures implemented by Canada are sufficient to be included in the minimal risk category.

The proposed rule has a 60-day comment period, or deadline of January 5, 2004. The rule is scheduled for publication in the Federal Register on November 4. E-mail comments can be addressed to regulations@aphis.usda.gov. Comments must be contained in the body of the message. Use Docket No. 03-080-1 on the subject line and include name and address in the message.
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