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USDA TO ALLOW IMPORTS OF PORK AND PORK PRODUCTS PROCESSED IN REGIONS WITH CLASSICAL SWINE FEVER

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Rachel Iadicicco (301) 734-3255
Angela Harless (202) 720-4623

WASHINGTON, April 2, 2008--The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is amending its regulations to allow, under certain conditions, the importation of uncooked pork and pork products processed in regions where classical swine fever (CSF) exist.

APHIS is taking this action primarily to allow uncooked pork and pork products that originate in the United States to be processed in Mexico and then returned to the United States. Under this rule, in order to be eligible for importation into the United States, all uncooked pork and pork products processed in regions where CSF is considered to exist must originate from regions free of CSF. Uncooked pork and pork products that originate from CSF-affected regions cannot be shipped into the United States.

To prevent contamination, processing facilities cannot receive any live swine or any pork or pork products from CSF-affected regions and these facilities must be evaluated and approved by APHIS. All shipments to and from CSF-affected regions must be accompanied by a detailed certificate and sent in sealed, serially numbered containers. These and other measures are designed to safeguard U.S. agriculture from CSF.

CSF, also known as hog cholera, is a highly contagious viral disease of swine. The most common method of transmission is direct contact between healthy swine and those infected with CSF. CSF was eradicated from the United States in 1978 after a 16-year effort by the industry and state and federal governments. CSF does not affect human health.

Notice of this final rule scheduled for publication in the April 2 F­­­­ederal Register and becomes effective upon publication.

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