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Guide to Good Farming Practices

Aims to ensure that governments do not use quarantine and food safety requirements as Unjustified trade barriers to protect domestic industries from import competition. It provides
Member countries with a right to implement traceability as an SPS measure http://www.oie.int/eng/publicat/rt/2002/WILSON.PDF

How can food safety be a trade barrier?

This report is really good to understand what Fair Trade really means and how the USDA and the Canada are skirting the issue on Mad Cow.

click here to download file for Canadian Cattlement for Fair Trade

Posted 01-02-08
The USDA previously allowed cattle younger than 30 months of age to be imported from Canada. This age restriction was important, because younger animals are less likely to be at risk for BSE infection. The
new rule, adopted Nov. 19, allows all animals born after March 1, 1999, to enter the United States, and it also allows beef from animals that were slaughtered in Canada to be imported into the United States without an age restriction.

In recent months, American consumers have come face to face with the reality that food products from other nations can be tainted and diseased. Our food-safety procedures need more scrutiny, not less.

American ranchers have worked hard to earn the confidence that consumers in America and around the globe rightfully have in the quality and safety of American beef. Government policies should do
nothing to diminish that.

Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Mike Enzi, R-Wy., have introduced a resolution in the Senate that would halt implementation of the USDA rule.

Read full article:

http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentary/12900391.html

http://akfb.fb.org/FBnews.html

Posted 10-18-07

 

U.S./CANADIAN BORDER TO OPEN BEEF & BISON FOR ANY PURPOSE

 

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced that it will expand the list of allowable imports from countries recognized as presenting a minimal risk of introducing bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) into the United States.  Currently, Canada is the only minimal-risk country designated by the United States.

 

Live cattle and bison will be allowed into the United States for any use (breeding, already bred, feeder animals) if they were born on or after March 1, 1999, the date which APHIS has determined to be the date of effective enforcement of Canada’s ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban.

 

This change becomes effective November 19, 2007.

 

Alaska is still faced with the dilemma of not having a port-of-entry providing animal inspection services and will not be able to import  livestock.  To resolve this problem, Dr. Bob Gerlach, Alaska State Veterinarian has been working with the National Import Office.  Together, they are working on implementing a Permit System that would allow animals across the border.

 

Dr. Gerlach needed to provide Washington, D.C. With a reasonable estimate of how many animals will be crossing the border.  A quickie, best guess estimate was done on September 24th with the help from many of you.

 

A better estimate of numbers that will be imported is now needed.  Please complete the form below and return it to the Alaska Farm Bureau’s Office by October 7, 2007.

 

“This rule is firmly based in science and ensures that we continue to protect the U.S. Against BSE,” said Bruce Knight, under secretary for marketing and regulatory programs.  “It also is consistent with our commitment to promote fair trade practices and further normalize trade with countries that institute the appropriate safeguards to prevent the spread of BSE.”

 

The NAIS is not about disease its about TRADE....Lets see how long it takes to discover another  BSE cow in the United States due to TRADE so they may  further implement NAIS on every single american who owns just one of the listed species..

 

 

Posted 09-19-07
Well there you have it The USDA is inflicting the NAIS on EVERY livestock owner to Normalize Trade. It is not about the health of our " Herd" is about the almighty dollar and our healthy animals at our expense. In the Draft Strategic Plan it clearly states:

USDA and our stakeholders in animal agriculture must continue moving forward with the  National Animal Identification System. NAIS must be implemented for our country to maintain its reputation as having the most efficient and effective animal health surveillance and response system in the world. I believe a fully functional animal tracking system will keep us competitive in international markets, helping us retain and
expand our market share. This Department is wholly committed to making NAIS a reality.
Mike Johanns Secretary of Agriculture

And then William "Bill" Hawks written words in the DP about the need for the National Animal Identification System, but yet the USDA is going to open up the border for cattle over 30 months for  Canada to NORMALIZE TRADE.

We have been working on an animal identification plan here at USDA in conjunction with a lot of interested parties over a number of years now, and our goal has remained consistent—to be able to track animals within a 48-hour period. We are prepared to roll up our sleeves and get this implemented.

The attention garnered from the BSE case last December, coupled with the increasing number of animal disease outbreaks worldwide over the last decade, has intensified the
level of interest in developing NAIS.
September 11, 2001, also taught us that we have to prepare for potential intentional disease introductions. NAIS is a top USDA priority.

 William “Bill” Hawks,Under Secretary for Marketing and
Regulatory Programs

Dr. Thornsberry has it correct the USDA is suppose to look out for the welfare of the U.S. livestock industry.

I don't know about you but I will be writing my senators again concerning this outrages  plan and I'm not going to hold back from the GOOD senators. I can guarantee that within 2 months a case of BSE will rear its ugly head. This email needs to be forwarded to everyone you know. I said it once and I will say it again, The only intentional disease introduction will be by the USDA due to the Normalizing of Trade. 

One other question, How will introducing more BSE cattle in the USA normalize trade?  Doesn't every new BSE discovered in the U.S. then  increase the Minimal Risk.........??????

R-CALF: USDA OTM Rule Heightens Disease Risk To U.S. Cattle Herd, U.S. Consumers

http://www.cattlenetwork.com/content.asp?contentid=161401

Billings, Mont. – R-CALF USA was extremely disappointed to see today’s Federal Register, in which the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published its final rule (Rule 2) to begin allowing imports of Canadian cattle born after March 1, 1999, and Canadian cattle over 30 months (OTM) of age, into the United States, scheduled to be effective Nov. 19. OTM cattle originating from a country affected by bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) have an inherently higher risk for transmitting the disease.

“USDA’s mandate is to prevent BSE from entering the United States, but the first thing the agency said at Friday’s news conference was this rule is designed to normalize cattle trade with Canada,” said R-CALF USA President/Region VI Director Max Thornsberry, a Missouri veterinarian who also chairs the group’s animal health committee. “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recently concluded that Canadian cattle are 26 times more likely to test positive for BSE than U.S. cattle.

“USDA went on to say that it’s an integral part of the agency’s efforts to promote fair trade practices and that the agency will encourage other countries to align their trade requirement to meet USDA expectations,” he continued. “Apparently, USDA thinks opening the border to older Canadian cattle will improve our export markets, so the agency, basically, continues to blatantly disregard the product demands of our export customers.

“When is someone going to point out to this runaway agency that it is not USDA’s job to improve trade relations because there already are federal agencies for that – the USTR and the Commerce Department,” Thornsberry asserted. “USDA is supposed to look out for the welfare of the U.S. livestock industry, so how in the world did USDA get the authority to decide it’s in the United States’ best interest to continue pushing for the ‘no borders’ approach to create a North American cattle herd, which continues to jeopardize the health of the U.S. cattle herd?

“During Friday’s news conference, USDA refused to answer what percentage of public comments the agency received on this rule were proponents of Rule 2 and what percentage of the comments came from people opposed to opening the border to OTM Canadian cattle,” he pointed out. “It doesn’t matter what the comments said because USDA already had its mind made up. I think they’ll do exactly as they please.”

What the OTM Rule Would Do:

Allow importation of all live Canadian cattle born after March 1, 1999, regardless of the intended use of the cattle, e.g., breeding, feeding, or slaughter.

Allow importation of beef, beef products, and beef byproducts, including whole or half carcasses, offal, tallow, and gelatin derived from Canadian OTM cattle. (This means that while live cattle born before March 1, 1999 are deemed to harbor an unacceptable risk for BSE, the beef from cattle born before March 1, 1999, can, nevertheless, be imported into the United States.)

Allow importation of bovine blood and blood products derived from Canadian cattle of any age. 

Allow importation of casings and the part of the small intestine from Canadian cattle of any age and from sheep that were less than 12 months of age at slaughter. 

How the OTM Rule Would be Administered: 

The age of Canadian cattle would be determined by a certificate signed by a Canadian veterinarian.

Each Canadian bovine imported for purposes other than immediate slaughter must be identified with an official ear tag that enables traceback to its premises of origin and each animal must be permanently branded with a “CAN,” or ear tattooed with a “CAN.”  (Note: The use of a tattoo in lieu of a brand represents a relaxation of current requirements.)

Canadian cattle imported for immediate slaughter would be transported in a sealed conveyance, with the seal applied at the U.S. port of entry.

Canadian cattle imported for other than immediate slaughter would not be required to be transported in sealed conveyances.

Besides the risk of diseased Canadian cattle commingling with the U.S. herd, R-CALF USA members also are worried once the border opens that the bottom will drop out of the U.S. market for cull cows and that the U.S. also will become a dumping ground for the specified risk materials (SRMs) that Canada has banned from its entire animal feed chain – yet another disease risk to the U.S. cattle herd. Here in the United States, SRMs are still allowed in pet food, as well as hog and poultry feed. Producers here are fearful that Canada will ship more cattle to the U.S. to dispose of SRMs in U.S. rendering facilities, posing further risks that BSE may be introduced into the animal feed supply chain here. Commingling of cattle feed with other animal feed is suspected as the source of continued BSE infection in Canada, causing Canada to ban cattle parts from all animal feed. There have been no similar efforts to enhance our own feed ban.

USDA acknowledges that Rule 2 would negatively impact U.S. cattle producers “as sellers of cull cattle, dairy producers, as well as beef producers are expected to be negatively affected by the price decline for cull cattle due to this rule.”

“Because Rule 2 is deemed ‘economically significant,’ Congress will have 60 days to review the rule,” Thornsberry explained. “R-CALF USA will continue to work with Congress in an effort to have Rule 2 withdrawn, but if that falls short, R-CALF USA is prepared to take the matter to court.

Canada’s ongoing BSE struggle continues to disrupt international beef trade and continues to create hardships for the U.S. cattle industry when Canadian cattle and beef are mixed with U.S. cattle and beef,” he concluded. “Rule 2 is premature and will cause additional and potentially severe consequences for U.S. independent cattle producers, and we simply cannot sit idly by without a fight while our own government’s actions will harm our industry – all in the name of ‘normalizing’ trade.”

USDA argues 100 percent testing is scientifically unwarranted. What  is NAIS all about then?
 
Mike Johanns, Secretary of Agriculture states, In the NAIS Draft  Strategic Plan 2005-2009
 
USDA and our stakeholders in animal agriculture must continue moving forward with the National Animal Identification System. NAIS must be implemented for our country to maintain its reputation as having the most efficient and effective animal health surveillance and response system in the world. I  believe a fully functional animal tracking system will keep us competitive in international markets, helping us retain and expand our market share. This Department is wholly committed to making NAIS a reality.
 

WASHINGTON - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said today that the federal government can't let an Arkansas City Company test its cattle for mad cow disease because doing so would be bad for international trade.

"If you're going to have a coherent system of trade in beef.. you need to advance the cause of scientifically based international standards," Johanns said at the annual North American Agricultural Journalists meeting in Washington, D.C.

"There's no scientific justification" for why Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, which owns a packing plant in Arkansas City, should go ahead and test all its cattle for bovine spongiform encephalitis, commonly called mad cow disease, Johanns said.

Creekstone filed suit last month against the Agriculture Department, seeking the right to test every animal it slaughters for mad cow disease.


Alan Bjerga

The only intentional Introduction of animal disease will be by the "USDA"!
 
I highly suggest that people who feel that the anti-nais folks are spouting mis-information need to listen to these audios concerning BSE.
 
NAIS Draft Strategic Plan 2005-2009
Mike Johanns Secretary of Agriculture
We have been working on an animal identification plan here at USDA in conjunction with a lot of interested parties over a number of years now, and our goal has remained consistent—to be able to track animals within a 48-hour period. We are prepared to roll up our sleeves and get this implemented. The attention garnered from the BSE case last December, coupled with the increasing number of animal disease outbreaks worldwide over the last decade, has intensified the level of interest in developing NAIS. September 11, 2001, also taught us that we have to
prepare for potential intentional disease introductions. NAIS is a top USDA priority.
 
Page 4 DP
The USAIP was well underway when one case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was confirmed in the United States on December 25, 2003. On December 30, 2003, the Secretary of Agriculture announced additional protection to guard against BSE and indicated that USDA would expedite the implementation of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). In making the announcement, the Secretary stated:

Page 7 DP

Driving Force:  
The strongest driving force is the risk of adverse animal health events that require quick response. With the outbreak of exotic Newcastle disease in California in 2002 and 2003 and the Canadian cow that tested positive for BSE in 2003, the need for rapid tracebacks has become more urgent. Recent outbreaks worldwide of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), especially in the United Kingdom in 2001, show the United States is at risk, too. In addition, the September 11, 2001, attacks make clear that an intentional introduction of an animal disease is a real risk.

 


How to help in preventing BSE

• Consumers who want to eat beef can limit their risk for mad cow disease by avoiding the foods most likely to carry it: brains and processed beef products that may contain nervous-system tissue, such as hamburger, hotdogs, and sausage. Organic, biodynamic, or 100 percent grass-fed beef carries the least risk, since the cattle are not fed any animal remains. Steak and hamburger ground while you watch are also lower risk.

• The USDA should test all cattle over 20 months old and require testing for any animals shipped to the U.S. from countries with mad cow disease. Until these safeguards are in place, the USDA should not weaken import regulations on Canadian cattle.

USDA poised to weaken mad cow safeguards- posted 03-11-07
 
From salmonella in peanut butter to E. coli in spinach, a rash of food contamination scares over the past several months has left consumers reeling. But even as concerns about food safety mount, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is poised to adopt a controversial new proposal that would weaken restrictions on cattle and cattle parts imported from Canada--a country facing a significant problem with mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy).

The proposal, which has drawn protest from consumer advocates and cattle ranchers, would allow Canadian cows born on or after March 1, 1999, to be shipped across the border. Since older animals are more likely to exhibit symptoms of the fatal brain disease, only cows 2.5 years or younger are currently allowed into the U.S . The USDA is also proposing to allow imports of cattle blood and intestines from Canada to be used as animal feed, though these parts may harbor infectious material.

In February 2007 Canadian officials announced that they had detected the country's ninth case of mad cow since May 2003. Five of the cases were identified in 2006, through a program that tested just 1 percent of all Canadian cows slaughtered. And while the USDA claims that Canadian safeguards meant to stop the spread of the disease became effective in March 1999, three of the five cows found to be infected with the disease last year were born after then. Early reports suggest the latest positive case was born after that date as well.

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has said he would dispatch a USDA expert to Canada to investigate the latest incident of mad cow but that he did not expect it to affect U.S. trade with Canada.

The USDA will be accepting public comments on the proposal until March 12. To add your voice to those urging the agency not to reopen the Canadian border to older cows, visit the Consumers Union site Notinmyfood.org and sign the online petition. Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, will formally submit it, along with detailed comments from its food safety experts, into the official docket.


A flawed system

Consumer Reports investigations have long raised concerns that the federal government isn't doing enough to protect the animal feed supply and that as a result the food we eat may not be as safe as it could be. For example, the U.S. tested some 370,000 cows between June 1, 2004, and May 31, 2005, out of a total herd of about 97 million, of which 37 million were slaughtered. By contrast, in Europe every single animal above a given age gets tested. Our food safety experts believe that, among other steps, the USDA should test all cattle over 20 months old and require testing for any animals shipped to the U.S. from countries with mad cow disease.

To learn more about mad cow disease, see the Consumers Union position.

The report released today by the USDA Office of Inspector General (OIG) reveals serious flaws in the USDA mad cow surveillance program. Posted Feb. 2, 2006
 

USDA FAILING AT EVERY TURN ON MAD COW
Opening Border To Canadian Beef, Inadequate Testing Program,
Other Failures Put Human Food Supply At Risk
 
http://www.consumersunion.org/pub/core_food_safety/001151.html

Shouldn't the Farm Bureau be standing with the farmers and consumers instead of the USDA, this is your health they are not taking into consideration, they are only concerned about the "Market" and  "Money". Mike Johanns stated in the Draft Plan, "I believe a fully functional animal tracking system will keep us competitive in international markets, helping us retain and expand our markets share."
 
What does a horse, a backyard chicken, a LLama  etc have to do with international markets?
 
 
The American Farm Bureau Federation recently entered the ring, in USDA’s corner, in the legal fight over whether to reopen the U.S. border to Canadian cattle 30 months old and younger and beef from those cattle.
 
USDA proposed reopening the border to those imports, but a Montana District Court judge, Richard Cebull, ruled in R-CALF v. USDA that the department may not implement the proposal until the judge has reviewed the issues in the case.
The plaintiff, R-CALF (Ranchers Cattlemen Legal Fund—United Stockgrowers of America), claimed in its lawsuit that resuming the imports would increase the risk of importing beef from cattle with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and harm domestic producers.
 
However, USDA said that it has fully investigated Canada’s system of controlling and preventing BSE, and that Canada’s measures are adequate and, in fact, similar to U.S. prevention measures.
 
AFBF joined a friend-of-the-court brief filed by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), arguing that the USDA proposal is supported by science, and that the Montana judge was wrong to suspend the USDA proposal.
The brief states that the judge erred when he substituted his own judgment for USDA’s scientific expertise and risk assessments.
 
 “Instead of affording the agency (USDA) the deference it was due,” the brief said, “the court rejected the agency’s explanation for its decision, disregarded the scientific evidence and expert opinion on which that decision was based and repeatedly substituted its judgment for that of the agency.”
 
 Eighteen state Farm Bureaus (Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina,
Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin) also joined in filing the brief,
in addition to 29 state cattlemen’s associations, the National Pork Producers
Council and nine individual cattle producers.
 
 According to the brief, R-CALF must show that the USDA proposal was “ar
bitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion or otherwise not in accordance
with the law.” Judging by the amount of documentation and actions taken by
USDA leading up to the final rule to reopen Canadian cattle trade, “R-CALF’s
burden is a heavy one,” the brief said.
 
 The United States has prohibited Canadian beef and live cattle from entering the United States ever since the first Canadian case of BSE was discovered in Alberta in May 2003. The United States did resume imports of
boxed beef from Canadian cattle from cattle 30 months old and younger in
August 2003.
 
 After reviewing Canada’s BSE-prevention measures and determining that they were as good as U.S. measures, USDA issued a rule that would have allowed imports of live cattle 30 months and younger, and beef from those cattle, to resume on March 7. However, the Montana District Court judge on March 2 granted a temporary injunction of USDA’s rule. USDA appealed the ruling that same day.
 
Mad Cow or BSE was one of the  reasons for NAIS, all the BSE case's in the United States were from Canada. And they have a Indentification program!!!  Why would the USDA allow more in? Lets just follow all the MONEY.... 
 
Scientific evidence shows that Canada has a Disease of Concern, its called Mad Cow / BSE and should not be allowed to import Cattle in the United States. One cow found in your herd, your neighbors herd and the whole herd will  be "Stamped Out" and nothing but the whole herd will be eridacated.
 

Enter supporting content here

Premises Registration will be an "Official" USDA unique seven Character identifier.
 
In the New User Guide it states on Page 22:
The premises identification number (PIN) is assigned permanently to a geophysical location. If an owner or entity sells his/her farm, the next operators of the premises use the original premises identification number that had been
assigned to that location. If the seller buys a new location to build a new operation that never had livestock, he/she would register that location and obtain a new premises identification number (PIN).

Premises Identification = Encumbrance

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Comments on the site are very welcomed.. If you see something that is in error, point it out, if you have a document that needs posting, provide the information and if its state specific post the state.. This site is for all livestock owners..