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USDA Lifts Import Restrictions on Canadian Bovines

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June 18, 2010

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has lifted temporary restrictions and additional testing requirements it had placed on the importation of sexually intact bovines (cattle and bison) from British Columbia. Those restrictions were put into place on May 25, 2010, and were based on the recent importation of three cows from the province found to be reactors for brucellosis upon testing at slaughter.

Effective immediately, APHIS will no longer require brucellosis testing for sexually intact bovines imported to the United States from British Columbia, Canada, for purposes other than immediate slaughter. This action is based on additional technical and epidemiological information received from Canada after a thorough investigation of the disease situation by Canadian authorities.

As part of their investigation, Canada quickly identified the herds of origin; and all animals belonging to those herds over the last year were tested negative for brucellosis or have been otherwise adequately accounted for. No other positive results were found through Canada's tracebacks. APHIS has concluded that the positive results in the original group of reactors may have been due to the presence of cross reactive antibodies detected in the tests used. With the removal of the temporary brucellosis testing requirements, bovines from British Columbia, Canada, may again be imported to the U.S. under the guidelines that applied prior to May 25, 2010.

Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that causes decreased milk production, weight loss, infertility, loss of young and lameness in cattle, elk and bison. The disease is contagious and
can, though rarely, affect humans. There is no known treatment for brucellosis in animals.

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Note to Reporters: Public notices and other APHIS information are available on the Internet
and through Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds. Go to the APHIS news release page at
www.aphis.usda.gov and click on the “Newsroom” button to view and/or sign up to receive
releases via the RSS feed link. For additional information about this topic contact Cindy Ragin
at (301) 734-7280 or by e-mail at cindy.n.ragin@aphis.usda.gov.

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