Kansas Cattlemen pleased with recommendation to upgrade BSE status
The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) recently recommended an upgrade to the United States' bovine spongiform encephalopathy risk status to negligible risk after the U.S. submitted an application to support such an upgrade. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the OIE determines classifications based on the actions taken by a country to manage the risk of the disease to include implementing a ruminant to ruminant feed ban, controlling imports of animals and animal products from countries at risk for the disease, and conducting appropriate surveillance.
This news is welcomed by Kansas cattlemen. Maintaining this classification is important, though. Conducting appropriate surveillance is required by the OIE, but the Kansas Cattlemen's Association contends that disease prevention is more beneficial and critical to maintaining the negligible status. According to KCA policy, the association supports the ban of all livestock and beef imports from infected countries and or trading partners entering the U.S.A. until the BSE countries' cattle and beef are proven safe.
"The upgrade in classification is a step in the right direction. This reclassification does provide opportunities to expand the USA beef market to countries that have been closed or limited to us. U.S. cattle producers provide the safest most wholesome product in the world. This news, along with other tools and programs that KCA and other U.S. organizations promote, helps promote demand for USA beef and can improve U.S. cattle markets. With that said, KCA will continue to communicate with the administration so that safeguards are in place to maintain this status in the long run," stated KCA Executive Director Brandy Carter.
The OIE recommendation is expected to be finalized in May 2013 when OIE's annual general assembly meets in Paris, France.
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