June 30, 2016 - APHIS is proposing to amend its regulations to allow for the importation of bone-in lamb meat from Uruguay. This proposal is based on evidence from a comprehensive, science-based risk assessment that shows bone-in lamb meat can be imported safely from Uruguay provided certain conditions are met.
Currently, only deboned lamb can be exported from Uruguay into the United States. Uruguay requested an exemption from the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) deboning mitigation required under the current regulations, in order to export rack of lamb to the United States.
Uruguay’s proposed exemption would apply to a select group of lambs. These lambs would be subjected to additional mitigations, including FMD testing with negative results, individual animal identification--as part of a national traceability system, and separation of select lambs from other FMD-susceptible animals following testing.
After a thorough evaluation and a 2014 site visit to verify Uruguay’s documented process, APHIS has determined that Uruguay has the authority, ability, and motivation to ensure the measures are followed, and that the proposed plan poses a negligible risk of bringing FMD into the United States.
This proposed rule is available for public inspection today on the Federal Register page at: https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection. Interested stakeholders can view the petition and submit comments beginning tomorrow at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0050. Written comments can also be submitted through the mail: Docket No. APHIS-2015-0102, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. The comment period will be open for 60 days. After APHIS reviews all of the comments we receive, we will notify the public of our final determination.