Dakota State University -- NDSU Agriculture
7 Morrill Hall, Fargo ND, 58105-5655, Tel: 701-231-7881, Fax: 701-231-7044
November 20, 2003
Market Advisor: Producer Comments Sought on COOL, Border Opening and Animal ID
Livestock Marketing Economist
NDSU Extension Service
USDA recently issued proposed rules for both mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL), and allowing livestock and meat from Canada and other "minimum risk" countries for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly called mad-cow disease. In addition, a proposed U.S. animal identification plan has been drafted.
Because livestock producers may be impacted by each proposal, they are urged to read them and consider submitting comments. The proposals all have 60-day comment periods currently in effect.
The proposed rule for mandatory country of origin labeling was published in the Oct. 30 Federal Register. COOL is scheduled to become effective on Sept. 30, 2004. Copies of the proposed rule and additional information can be found at www.ams.usda.gov/COOL/.
Under the proposed rule, muscle cuts of beef (including veal), lamb, and pork; and ground beef, lamb, and pork must be labeled at retail to indicate the country of origin. Fish, fresh fruits and vegetables and peanuts are also included.
Food service establishments such as restaurants are exempt from COOL. Covered commodities that are ingredients in a processed food item, such as bacon, are also exempt.
The proposed rule indicates that a verifiable audit trail will be necessary to assure that U.S. labeled meat is from animals born, raised, and slaughtered in the United States. Therefore, producers should be making plans to keep appropriate records. Examples of records which may be useful can be found on the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) web site www.ams.usda.gov/cool/records.htm.
The NDSU Extension Service is maintaining a COOL Web site with current information. It can be accessed at www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/aginfo/lsmkt/COOL/cool/htm.
Producers who wish to comment on the proposed COOL rule must do so by Dec. 29 and may send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org or send regular mail to:
The USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is seeking public comment on the proposal to allow the importation of certain live ruminants, and ruminant products and byproducts from countries considered a minimal risk for BSE. The proposed rule would place Canada on the list of minimal-risk countries.
The proposed minimal-risk category would include countries in which an animal has been diagnosed with BSE but in which specific preventive measures have been in place for an appropriate period of time that reduce the risk of BSE being introduced into the United States.
Under the proposal, cattle and beef from animals under 30 months of age; sheep and goats; and related meat from animals under 12 months of age would be allowed into the United States under certain conditions. A complete documentation of the requirements under the proposed rule are available at the APHIS Web site www.aphis.usda.gov.
Producers wishing to comment must do so by Jan. 5 and can send an e-mail message to email@example.com . Comments must be contained in the body of the message without attached files, and the subject line should read "Docket No. 03-080-1". Or, an original and three copies can be mailed to:
A National Animal Identification Development Team, comprised of more than 100 livestock industry participants including livestock producers, producer organizations, breed associations, marketers, and processors as well as state and federal animal health officials, has drafted a proposed U.S. Animal Identification Plan (USAIP).
The USAIP defines the standards and framework for implementing a phased-in national animal and livestock identification program. The planís focus is to control any livestock disease threat, foreign or domestic, in a minimal time frame. Included are bison, cattle, swine, sheep, goats, camelids (alpacas and llamas), horses, cervids (deer and elk), poultry (eight species), and aquaculture (eleven species).
The goal is to trace a potentially diseased animal all the way back to its original birthplace within 48 hours. A copy of the plan (73 pages) is available at www.usaip.info.
A 60-day comment period ending Dec. 31 is open for livestock owners to express opinions. Comments may be e-mailed to Communication@USAIP.info, faxed to (719) 538-8847, or mailed to: