Major cattle agreement between U.S., Canada a...

Major cattle agreement between U.S., Canada and Mexico

U.S., Mexican and Canadian agricultural officials have wrapped up a series of meetings concerning trade relationships.

The negotiations also included an agreement to establish consistent trade relationships for breeding cattle between the three nations.

Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Todd Staples says the agreement will be worth millions of dollars to U.S. cattlemen.

On March this year, Staples issued an order banning the movement of Canadian cattle through Texas Department of Agriculture export facilities along the Mexican border.

His action came after Mexico signed an agreement with Canada that allowed for a more lucrative trade of Canadian cattle than what had been allowed with U.S. cattle producers. Officials in New Mexico, Arizona and California soon joined Staples in the effort.

U.S., Canadian, and Mexican agencies implemented the new protocols for the trade of breeding cattle last week.

The U.S. says harmonisation of the standards in North America reaffirms the U.S. position that cattle can be traded safely when countries follow the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) standards for effectively managing the risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

This new agreement ensures that trade protocols for Canada, Mexico and the U.S. are consistent between the countries and with OIE. In May 2007, the OIE formally classified the U.S. as a controlled risk country for BSE.

This status confirmed that US BSE regulatory controls are effective and that U.S. beef and beef products of all ages can be safely traded.

OIE recommendations, which are based on the latest science, provide guidelines for trade in cattle of any age, as well as beef and many other cattle products.

Source: Farmonline

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