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USDA Places Import Restrictions on Beef from Japan Due to Finding of Foot-and-Mouth Disease

Posted May 28 2010 12:23am
USDA to Host Multi-Agency Informational Meeting Concerning Compliance with the Federal

WASHINGTON, May 28, 2010 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) notified the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on April 22, 2010, that effective immediately APHIS veterinary services (VS) has placed temporary restrictions on certain commodities from Japan due to foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), based on notifications from Japan of an outbreak in cattle that is consistent with FMD.  As a result, APHIS is drafting an interim rule that would remove Japan from the list of regions recognized as free of FMD.  Once published, that rule would indefinitely prohibit the importation of susceptible animals and most products from susceptible animals from Japan.

Ruminant (cattle, sheep, goats, camelids and cervids) meat and meat by-products are currently prohibited from Japan due to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), with the exception of boneless cuts of fresh beef, normally referred to as Kobe beef.  Under these new import restrictions, boneless/Kobe beef will now be refused entry, including in passenger baggage.  Fresh pork from Japan is currently prohibited entry due to swine vesicular disease and classical swine fever.  Ruminant and swine products and by-products such as milk and milk products, blood/serum, tissues, nutraceuticals and research samples must now be imported accompanied by a VS import permit that lists treatments to mitigate for FMD.  Shipments not accompanied by appropriate documentation of an FMD treatment will be refused entry.

These restrictions exclude cooked canned shelf-stable pork meat, which can continue to enter the United States.  However, cooked canned shelf-stable ruminant meat continues to be prohibited due to BSE.

FMD is a severe, highly contagious viral disease of cattle, swine and other cloven-hooved ruminants.  FMD causes severe losses in the production of meat and milk and has serious implications for animal agriculture in any country where the disease is detected.  The United States has not had an outbreak of FMD since 1929.  APHIS has a strong system in place for detecting and responding to outbreaks of foreign animal diseases like FMD and places trade restrictions on regions where the disease is detected.  FMD is not transmissible from animals to humans.

            Note to Reporters:  USDA news releases, program announcements and media advisories are available on the Internet and through Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds.  Go to the APHIS news release page at and click on the RSS feed link.  To receive APHIS releases automatically, send an e-mail message to and leave the subject blank.  In the message, type
subscribe press_releases.

 (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720.6382 (TDD).


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