Monday, June 17, 2024
HomeRegional NewsIowa Ag Secretary Naig, 7 Other State Ag Leaders Raise Concerns Over...

Iowa Ag Secretary Naig, 7 Other State Ag Leaders Raise Concerns Over USDA’s Paraguay Beef Import Rule

DES MOINES, Iowa (Dec. 13, 2023) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig and seven other Secretaries, Commissioners, and Directors of Agriculture from Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Missouri, Ohio, Nebraska, and Wyoming sent a letter today to United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack raising concerns about a new rule allowing for the importation of beef from Paraguay.

The group of agriculture officials is asking the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to pause the implementation of the Importation of Fresh Beef from Paraguay final rule. Given that the South American country has a history of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD), and that the severe and highly transmissible disease would pose a significant threat to our nation’s critical livestock sector as well as the beef production system in the United States, the state leaders are asking for a more current and reliable risk assessment to be completed.

“The U.S. is the largest, most reliable producer and consumer of beef in the world. We have the reputation of providing the safest and most efficient beef production system in the world. A FMD outbreak in the U.S. would severely impact our nation’s economy and the people behind the product,” wrote Secretary Naig and the seven other state agriculture leaders. “We urge USDA to consider pausing the implementation of this rule until a more reliable risk assessment can be completed based on modern visits in Paraguay.”

The group focused their comments on 3 key areas:

  • While we are strong proponents of robust trade, we must do so in a manner that does not put our livestock producers at risk. We urge USDA to consider pausing the implementation of this rule until a more reliable risk assessment can be completed based on modern visits in Paraguay. The last visits USDA conducted to Paraguay were in December 2008 and July 2014. The information relied upon is outdated.
  • The United States is the largest, most reliable producer and consumer of beef in the world. We have the reputation of providing the safest and most efficient beef production system in the world. An FMD outbreak in the U.S. would severely impact our nation’s economy and the people behind the product: American farmers and ranchers and the businesses that bring beef from pasture to plate.
  • We appreciate the partnership that USDA has with our states and the work that is being done to prevent FMD and other foreign animal diseases from entering the country and negatively impacting the agriculture industry. The U.S. should not open our markets to potentially unsafe actors and jeopardize the herd health and livelihood of American farmers.

The full letter, which was sent to Secretary Vilsack, can be viewed here.

RELATED ARTICLES
- Advertisment -

Latest Stories