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Jim Rogers  (301) 734-0603
Angela Harless   (202) 720-4623

MEXICO REOPENS BORDER TO U.S. SLAUGHTER SHEEP

WASHINGTON, Nov. 8, 2007--The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today announced that Mexico is once again allowing the importation of U.S. sheep intended for immediate slaughter.

Mexico closed its border to U.S. slaughter sheep in July after it was discovered that Mexican importers were using the sheep for breeding programs.  It is illegal in Mexico to import sheep for the stated purpose of slaughter and instead use them for breeding.

Since the closure, APHIS veterinary import and export specialists have worked closely with Mexican agricultural officials to reopen the border.  All U.S. slaughter sheep destined for Mexico must cross the border at Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico, which is the sister land port of Del Rio, Texas.  The export of these animals to Mexico represents a $7 million market for U.S. sheep producers.

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