The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health and Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing criteria that will be used to evaluate and recognize livestock compartments in other countries. Compartmentalization is an important tool animal health officials can use to protect against disease spread and support continued trade during a disease outbreak.
The livestock or poultry within a compartment are managed using consistent, strict biosecurity and health practices, and are kept separate from other populations of animals. This reassures trading partners that there is a minimal risk of those compartmentalized animals spreading disease. When disease strikes, unaffected compartments are still eligible for international trade. More importantly, recognizing compartments in other countries makes it more likely other countries will recognize our compartments during an outbreak. This will help our farmers and ranchers by maintaining export markets, which reduces the overall impact of the outbreak to our agriculture industry.
APHIS is proposing evaluation criteria for compartmentalization that are similar to what the agency already uses for regionalization requests, with slight changes to account for the differences between regions and compartments. The criteria are:
This information, along with site visits from APHIS animal health experts, will allow APHIS to determine whether the animals within the compartment are managed in a way that keeps them distinct and separate from other animal populations within the country.
This notice may be viewed in today’s Federal Register at: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2019-06473. Beginning tomorrow, members of the public will be able to submit comments at: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2019-06473.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.