The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) is requesting USDA close the U.S./Canadian border to further cattle movements in light of the agency's failure to track Canadian cattle into the U.S.
Go to: /files/50601-12-CH.pdf
for the full report on the General Accounting office report on USDA's difficulties. Since the border was opened last November, about 45,000 Canadian dairy cattle have been imported.
NMPF sent a letter to USDA Secretary Ed Schafer today. "NMPF believes that the BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) situation in Canada is such that an animal could be imported into the U.S. and, if allowed to reside amongst the U.S. dairy herd, introduce or disseminate BSE in the U.S. This is evident by the number of cases of BSE from animals born after the USDA determined date of effective enforcement of the feed ban,” says Jerry Kozak, NMPF CEO and president.
"We request that USDA close the Canadian border to the importation of cattle for breeding or herd replacement purposes until such time that USDA can sufficiently ensure the health of imported cattle and your ability to track these cattle.
"Cattle imported for breeding or herd replacement purposes may not show clinical symptoms of BSE infection for many years, allowing BSE to incubate in U.S. cattle herds. In addition, any offspring from these cattle will also reside in the U.S. cattle population. If any of these animals are confirmed positive for BSE, both domestic and export markets for U.S. producers will be disrupted,” Kozak says.