Oklahoma Cattlemen Oppose Brazilian Beef Imports Into the USTue, 22 Apr 2014 17:44:44 CDT
The Oklahoma Cattlemen Association (OCA) submitted comments today opposing a proposed federal rule that would allow fresh and frozen beef imports from Brazil. Earlier this year, the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issued a proposed federal rule that would allow Brazil to export to the United States fresh and frozen beef from specific regions in Brazil. As recently as 2010, Brazil has reported an outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD). FMD is a highly infectious disease of cloven hoofed animals.
OCA's submitted commits outline three areas of concern regarding the proposed rule. Lack of documents from site inspections in Brazil, inability to detect and report disease occurrence and lack of compliance with food safety inspection protocols are all reasons that OCA offered to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service for the proposed rule.
"Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) is a significant threat to the Oklahoma beef cattle industry. While we support fair and open trade, we cannot allow imports from a country that cannot demonstrate adequate disease control measures," offered Richard Gebhart, president of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association.
APHIS lack of documents from site visits to Brazil from 2003 to 2013 cause significant concern as well. Gebhart wrote, "It is the opinion of OCA that recognizing the significant threat of FMD, documentation of the visits...is both justifiable and obligatory."
Gebhart was very clear in his comments that "OCA members overwhelmingly oppose the proposed rule and request APHIS to withdraw it."
Click on the PDF file link below for the complete comments offered to APHIS today by the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association.
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