USDA Files Canadian Cattle Rule

Friday afternoon, USDA unveiled its proposal to eventually allow Canadian live cattle under 30 months of age to cross the border into the United States.

The proposal was filed Friday with the U.S. Federal Register. The public will have 60 days to submit feedback to the USDA after the proposal is published in the Federal Register by the Government Printing Office.

USDA's proposal calls for designating Canada, as a "BSE-minimal risk region" and requiring that bovines imported into the United States from BSE-minimal risk regions be under 30 months of age. BSE, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, is more commonly known as mad-cow disease.

With the 30-month requirement, USDA believes "the risk of the BSE agent being present at infectious levels in most tissues in the animal is minimized."

USDA noted that "the 30-month age limit is accepted internationally in BSE standards set by various countries and is consistent with OIE (Office International des Epizooties) recommendations."

The USDA also proposed that live cattle allowed in from Canada must be slaughtered together in the same group that they were shipped in no more than two weeks after they crossed the U.S. border. Furthermore, the cattle must be slaughtered in a USDA-approved facility, according to the proposal.

The USDA submitted the proposal to the White House Office of Management and Budget, or OMB, on Oct. 1 for review. OMB finished that review Monday.

Editors note: Richard Brock, The Corn and Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.

To see more market perspectives, visit Brock's Web site at www.brockreport.com.