The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is calling on Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to continue blocking Paraguay from importing beef to the United States. The effort is in response to the Department of Agriculture releasing a proposed rule that would grant access to Paraguayan beef imports.
NCBA Executive Director of Government Affairs Kent Bacus says, “Paraguay has a history of outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease, and we cannot jeopardize the safety of U.S. consumers and the health of our U.S. cattle herd.” NCBA says the data used to inform the proposal by USDA is nine years old from site visits that occurred in 2008 and 2014. Bacus says the United States has the highest animal health and food safety standards in the world “because we rely on the most up-to-date information and the highest science-based standards.”
NCBA adds USDA should not proceed with the application until a thorough review can be conducted with current information that demonstrates Paraguay’s equivalence in animal health.