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Karen Eggert (301) 734-7280
Jerry Redding (202) 720-4623

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2007--The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is amending its livestock exportation regulations to eliminate tuberculosis and brucellosis testing requirements for certain U.S. cattle prior to export.

Under this final rule, APHIS is eliminating the requirement for pre-export tuberculosis and brucellosis testing of certain cattle being exported to countries that do not require such testing.

These actions relieve restrictions on certain exports of U.S. cattle to Canada for which testing is no longer necessary. Canadian animal health authorities have recognized our success in eradicating brucellosis, tuberculosis and other diseases by establishing the Restricted Feeder Cattle Program, which allows certain untested feeder cattle to be imported into Canada. To participate in this program, the feeder cattle must originate from a state that has been designated by APHIS as brucellosis and tuberculosis free.

In addition, should other countries importing U.S. cattle suspend or remove their testing requirements, this rule will ensure that U.S. cattle exporters receive the full benefits of no longer being required to perform pre-export tests.

Currently all states are designated accredited-free for tuberculosis except Minnesota and portions of Michigan and New Mexico, and all states except Idaho and Texas are designated as class free for brucellosis.

The final rule is scheduled for publication in the July 23 Federal Register and becomes effective Aug. 22.

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