US propose import relaxation for Mexican pork

A proposed relaxation of the classical swine fever (CSF) rules governing the importing of fresh pork and pork products into the USA from Mexico has opened for an eight-week period of comment.

Led by the Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS) and published in the US Federal Register, the relaxation, if and when it is comes, would significantly increase the CSF-free area of Mexico from which US customers could source pork and pork products. In addition to the nine CSF-free states already cleared to do business with the US, it is proposed to include all other Mexican states in a new APHIS-defined export region, with the single exception of the state of Chiapas.

“Under this rule, pork and pork products would have to be derived from swine raised on farms meeting stringent sanitary and biosecurity requirements,” it is stated in the Federal Register’s official listing.

“We would also provide safeguards against commingling of the swine and the pork and pork products with animals and products that do not meet our proposed requirements. Establishments that slaughter the swine from which the pork or pork products are derived would have to allow periodic inspection and evaluation of their facilities, records, and operations by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. This proposed rule would relieve some restrictions on the importation of pork and pork products from Mexico while continuing to protect against the introduction of classical swine fever into the United States.”

The proposal is based on APHIS assessments of current CSF risks, carried out between 2007 and 2012.

The comment period for the proposal is due to run until September 29, 2014.

Federal register proposal

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