(From USDA)WASHINGTON, March 9, 2012â€“TODAY, Dr. John Clifford, Chief Veterinary Officer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will discuss a proposed rule to bring U.S. import regulations for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in line with science-based, international animal health standards. The proposed rule would not change other measures that are currently in place in the United States. With the changes, APHIS would adopt the same criteria and categories that the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) uses to identify a countryâ€™s BSE risk status. In addition to protecting the U.S. cattle herd, the changes are expected to assist in future negotiations to reopen important trade markets that remain closed to U.S. beef.
U.S. agriculture is currently experiencing one of its best years in decades thanks to the productivity, resiliency, and resourcefulness of American producers. USDAâ€™s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) works hard to safeguard our nationâ€™s agriculture, fishing and forestry industries from unwanted pests, disease and unjustified restrictions. To promote the health of U.S. agricultural exports, APHIS develops and advances science-based standards with trading partners to ensure American farm exports, valued at more than $137 billion annually, are protected from unjustified barriers.