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HomeIndustry NewsCattle Group Applauds Resolution Disapproving Paraguayan Beef Imports

Cattle Group Applauds Resolution Disapproving Paraguayan Beef Imports

BILLINGS, Mont., Feb. 22, 2024 鈥撀燨n Tuesday, U.S. Reps. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) and Yadira Caraveo (D-CO) introduced聽, H.J. Res. 115, to oppose the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service鈥檚 (APHIS)聽聽that allows the importation of fresh beef from Paraguay.

Historically, the U.S. has not engaged in trading beef with Paraguay because APHIS has considered it to be a country affected by the highly contagious foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). The USDA estimates that an outbreak of FMD in the United States would cost between $37 billion to $42 billion over a 15-year period.

Despite this, on November 14, 2023, USDA finalized a rule allowing the importation of fresh chilled or frozen beef from Paraguay. The USDA has not conducted an on-site evaluation of Paraguay鈥檚 animal health and food safety infrastructure since 2014.

鈥淲e are grateful Representatives Jackson and Caraveo have intervened to prevent a potential catastrophe and we urge all of Congress to support this legislation,鈥 said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard.

鈥淢aintaining the health and safety of our U.S. cattle herd and ensuring the safety of our food supply in the face of imports should be a top priority for USDA, but approving beef imports from Paraguay, a country not free of FMD, without having conducted an on-site evaluation for nearly a decade has potentially elevated the risk of introducing a foreign animal disease into the U.S.,鈥 Bullard continued.

鈥淐ongress must stop this irresponsible ruling, otherwise, U.S. cattle producers will be forced to promote high-risk Paraguayan beef under the mandatory beef checkoff program, which does not allow producers to earmark their contributions for any particular country鈥檚 beef,鈥 said Bullard.

The legislation is cosponsored by Reps. Frank Lucas (R-OK), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), David Rouzer (R-NC), Don Bacon (R-NE), Mike Bost (R-IL), Randy Feenstra (R-IA), Mary Miller (R-IL), Barry Moore (R-AL), Brad Finstad (R-MN), John Rose (R-TN), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR), Troy Nehls (R-TX), Stephanie Bice (R-OK), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Brian Babin (R-TX), Mike Lawler (R-NY), Mike Flood (R-NE), and August Pfluger (R-TX).

The resolution follows Sens. Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Jon Tester鈥檚 (D-MT) Senate Bill聽聽to suspend beef imports from Paraguay introduced in December 2023, also endorsed by R-CALF USA.

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