USDA’s lifting of the ban on meat imports from certain European Union (EU) countries is not a reason to become complacent about the threat of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), says Barb Determan, president of the National Pork Producers Council.
"We trust that USDA has carefully evaluated the information presented by those EU members that have not had a confirmed case of FMD and can unequivocally assure the American people that the large volume of pork products kept in U.S. storage since the restriction’s imposition in March originated or transited from only FMD-free countries," she says.
The U.S. ban remains in effect for countries where cases of FMD have confirmed, says USDA. Those include the United Kingdom, France, Ireland, the Netherlands and Greece.
Determan stresses NPPC will continue to push for:
A 100% compliance of inspection protocols by USDA inspection personnel on all passengers, mail and cargo from countries that are FMD-positive;
A ban on foreign visitors by pork producers and pork plants;
An increase in to USDA for prevention of foreign animal diseases, particularly FMD;
An increase in funding for enhanced detection and response to foreign animal diseases;
USDA to take all appropriate actions to prevent accidental introduction of foreign animal diseases; and
An animal health and biosecurity risk assessment of all shows where live animals are exhibited.