Vilsack urges Brazil to enhance animal illness testing

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has issues about Brazil’s animal illness testing and reporting. In an open letter to Brazilian Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Provide Carlos Favaro, he says the world’s two largest cattle-producing nations have a joint duty for shielding cattle well being, particularly within the Western Hemisphere.

The secretary mentioned he’s notably involved about Brazil’s testing for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, extra generally often called mad cow illness. To deal with the problem, he proposed a name between the international locations to additional focus on the problem.

“When the U.S. opened our market to recent beef from Brazil in 2016, we did so after full and cautious evaluations of Brazil’s animal health infrastructure, illness standing and meals security system,” the secretary says in his letter. “For the US, continued confidence in Brazil’s animal illness surveillance, testing and reporting methods is paramount for our continued buying and selling relationship.”

This isn’t the primary time American officers have questioned Brazil’s beef security processes. In February, U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds, R- S.D., and Jon Tester, D- Mont., reintroduced a invoice that may briefly droop Brazilian beef imports. It might additionally create a USDA working group to judge the specter of Brazilian beef merchandise and make suggestions relating to the way forward for beef imports from that nation.

That invoice is at present being thought-about by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Vitamin and Forestry.

Additionally in February, the Nationwide Cattlemen’s Beef Affiliation known as for a right away halt to Brazilian beef imports within the wake of one other atypical case of mad cow illness. That case was first recognized on Jan. 18, however not confirmed till Feb. 22.

In his letter, Vilsack thanked Brazil for reporting confirmed take a look at outcomes inside 24 hours, which is in keeping with World Group for Animal Well being reporting requirements. Nevertheless, he says that the time lag between preliminary detection sampling and full take a look at outcomes continues to lag considerably behind the timelines of different main beef exporters. This lag deadlines the power of countries to enact management measures combatting mad cow illness, foot and mouth illness and different outbreaks.

“It is because of this that I urge Brazil, within the strongest phrases, to proceed its progress in streamlining well timed animal illness reporting,” Vilsack continued in his letter. “Particularly, I ask you to overview inner testing processes, take into account concurrent slightly than consecutive testing methods for high-suspect samples and reduce the general time between sampling and testing even additional.”