Thursday, May 26, 2005


Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has closed the U.S. border to cattle from the Mexican state of Durango due to inadequacies with that state's bovine tuberculosis (TB) management program. Durango is essentially divided into two sections for the purposes of exporting cattle to the United States with one section allowed to export and one that is not. During a review of Durango's TB management practices, APHIS found that animals from the section not allowed to export were being moved into the region that is allowed to export. This, combined with other conflicts with APHIS guidelines, led to the border closing. "I called Mexican Secretary of Agriculture Javier Usabiaga Monday evening to discuss this development and he fully understands the safety concerns that prompted our action," Johanns said. "He also expressed his appreciation for our willingness to assist Mexico with corrective measures so we can resume normal trade with Durango." In order to resume trade, Durango must meet all APHIS guidelines, including the recommendations by the APHIS review team, such as: prohibiting the movement of dairy heifers from herds in the known infected region into the exporting region; requiring quarantine and tests of animals in any heifer raising operation in the exporting region that has received cattle from dairy herds in the known infected region; and requiring quarantine and tests for herds along Durango's internal regional border if one or more animal in the herd has tested positive....


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