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CRA Resolution of Disapproval to Block Fresh Paraguayan Beef from Being Imported to U.S.

WASHINGTON – For 25 years, the United States has blocked the importation of fresh beef from Paraguay as a result of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) determining foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is prevalent within the country. According to the USDA, FMD is a “worldwide concern” due to its ability to rapidly spread and cause substantial economic losses. While the disease is still present in several other countries, the agency reported the United States eradicated FMD in 1929.

However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced in November its decision to lift the long-standing ban and allow imports of fresh beef from Paraguay under certain conditions. Though there have been no detected cases of FMD in Paraguay since 2012, the USDA’s decision to resume Paraguayan imports relies on an analysis completed in 2018. American inspectors have not conducted a site visit to Paraguay since 2014.

U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) joined U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Mike Rounds (R-SD) in cosigning S.J. Res. 62, a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval overturning the Biden administration’s rule which allows for the importation of Paraguayan beef into the United States. The lawmakers also introduced a discharge petition to release S.J. Res. 62 from the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

“USDA’s repeal of the complete ban on Paraguayan beef is misguided and foolish. The final rule is based on old data and neglects to acknowledge the potential for a rapid spread of foot-and-mouth disease within American livestock. The U.S. has effectively eradicated FMD from our livestock, and resuming imports from Paraguay could reintroduce the disease our producers have worked hard to eliminate,” said Cramer.

Several organizations support S.J. Res. 62, including the National Cattleman’s Beef Association, U.S. Cattleman’s Association, Livestock Marketing Association, R-CALF USA, and American Farm Bureau Federation. Many in the cattle and beef industry have voiced concerns about the unnecessary risks the Biden administration’s final rule poses to U.S. livestock, specifically animals with divided hooves such as cows, pigs, sheep, goats, and deer.

Click here for bill text.

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