R-CALF USA Applauds Tester’s Amendment
Billings, MT – Senator Jon Tester included an amendment to FY 2016 Ag appropriations bill during consideration by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The included amendment addresses some concerns regarding importation of beef from Brazil and Argentina.
Specifically, Senator Tester’s amendment would require the Secretary of Agriculture to take several steps before the rules could be implemented:
- Conduct an updated comprehensive risk evaluation
- Update a key report to Congress, including identifying specific actions by federal agencies to prevent foot-and-mouth disease from being introduced to or disseminated within the U.S.
- Report to Congress on specific steps USDA is taking to implement recent GAO recommendations on ensuring a sufficient number of veterinarians in the federal workforce to respond to animal disease outbreaks
“R-CALF USA is thankful for Senator Tester’s concern and dedication to protect the U.S. cattle industry. It is unconscionable to expose our U.S. cattle herd to an unnecessary and avoidable risk of introducing foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) from imports of fresh beef from Northern Argentina and 14 states in Brazil. These regions are not free of FMD and the live FMD virus is known to exist in and/or alongside these regions.” said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard.
Tester Amendment text:
On page 84 of the bill, in the appropriate place insert the following section:
Sec. 743. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to implement, administer, or enforce the rule entitled “Importation of Beef From a Region in Argentina” published by the Department of Agriculture in the Federal Register on July 2, 2015 (80 Fed. Reg. 37935 et seq.) or the rule entitled “Importation of Beef From a Region in Brazil” published by the Department of Agriculture in the Federal Register on July 2, 2015 (80 Fed. Reg. 37923 et seq.) until the Secretary of Agriculture—(1) conducts an updated comprehensive risk evaluation of importing beef produced in Argentina and Brazil; and (2) updates the Animal Disease Risk Assessment, Prevention, and Control Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-9) Final Report issued to Congress in January 2003 as it relates to economic impacts associated with the potential introduction of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), including specific actions by Federal agencies to prevent the introduction into or dissemination within the United States of FMD, and the sufficiency of legislative authority to prevent or control FMD in the United States; and (3) reports to Congress on specific steps to implement recommendations of the May 2015 GAO Report on Federal Veterinarians and workforce needs for emergency response to an animal disease outbreak.
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R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) is the largest producer-only cattle trade association in the United States. It is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. For more information, visit www.r-calfusa.com or, call 406-252-2516.