Mexican state loses TB accreditation
According to information from USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Chihuahua’s status for bovine tuberculosis (TB) will be downgraded from Modified Accredited to Accredited Preparatory as of Aug. 18, 2011. However, shorter-term actions are also being taken now to address the interim animal health risks. According to APHIS, as of Thursday, June 23, 2011, bovines from Chihuahua may only be imported to the U.S. if they are accompanied by TB test charts containing 1) the names and signatures of specific accredited veterinarians who have been approved by SAGARPA to perform TB testing; and 2) the names and signatures of a supervising official (SAGARPA) veterinarian. The entire lot containing any animals not accompanied after June 23, 2011, by test charts with these approved names and signatures will continue to be considered ineligible for importation, and will be refused entry.
Two new BQA awards offered
The checkoff’s Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program is offering two new awards for 2012 that recognize the industry’s commitment to incorporating BQA principles as part of the day-to-day activities on their operations. The BQA Marketer Award is open to livestock markets, cattle buyers and supply-chain programs that promote BQA to their customers and offer them opportunities to get certified. The BQA Educator Award is open to individuals or companies that provide high quality and innovative training to individuals who care and handle cattle throughout the industry chain. This person could be a BQA state coordinator, trainer, vet, nutritionist, industry service provider, or university professor that goes above and beyond the call of duty to help producers and their employees provide the best training programs and create a culture of continuous improvement centered on BQA. This person should be committed to improving the industry and providing innovative opportunities to move the industry forward as a whole. Applications for both awards are due July 15, 2011.
Expert to discuss consumer trends with ANCW
The American National CattleWomen (ANCW), in conjunction with Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, is bringing a special guest speaker, Tracy Chapman, co-director of Brand Insights from the marketing and strategy company Just Ask A Woman, to address members at the Cattle Industry Summer Conference. Women influence 85 percent of buying decisions and are especially influential in meal choices. Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health commissioned Just Ask A Woman to explore women’s beliefs and behaviors related to beef. Chapman will provide an overview of her findings and share how the beef industry can communicate with consumers in ways that are meaningful and relevant. The Cattle industry Summer Conference will be held July 31-Aug. 4 at the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, FL. For registration information, go to www.ancw.org.
Korea presents opportunities
Pork producer Leon Sheets and cattleman Ed Greiman were part of an Iowa agricultural delegation that recently visited South Korea on a trade mission. Both came away extremely impressed with the recent gains U.S. pork and beef have made in Korea and convinced that opportunities in this key market will be even greater when the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement is ratified. Sheets, who owns a diversified farming operation near Ionia, IA, and currently serves as president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association, says a recent foot-and-mouth disease outbreak has taken a severe toll on Korea’s swine industry, creating an even greater need for imported pork. Greiman, of Garner, IA, is president-elect of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. He spent a good portion of his time in Korea speaking with meat buyers and conducting several interviews with Korean media. When addressing both audiences, he placed a heavy emphasis on the safety of U.S. beef. Greiman said that while U.S. beef has gained much greater acceptance from Korean consumers in recent years, safety remains a lingering concern.
Senate continues efforts to limit antibiotics
The Senate last week saw efforts to limit the use of antibiotics in the livestock industry as Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, reintroduced the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA) bill. The legislation, which has bipartisan support in the Senate, would phase out subtherapeutic use of many livestock antibiotics which are considered medically important. The bill would also require new applications for animal antibiotics insure that the use of those drugs by the industry would pose no threat to public health. The bill, which is identical to one introduced by Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-NY, in the House of Representatives would not restrict the use of antibiotics to treat sick or injured livestock.