USDA loosens livestock export rules.
- The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has regulatory authority over both the import and export of livestock products. In the import context, APHIS works to ensure that products entering the U.S. meet the Agency’s entry requirements to exclude pests and diseases. In the export context, APHIS works to keep export markets open for American products by seeking to eliminate unjustified sanitary or phytosanitary (SPS) barriers imposed by trading partners.
- On January 20, 2016, APHIS issued a final rule to loosen restrictions on livestock exports from the U.S. The new rule removes most previously-applicable requirements related to export health certifications, tests, and treatments and instead directs exporters of horses, cattle (including American bison), captive cervids, sheep, swine, and goats to comply with the importing country’s regulations. APHIS is retaining only those export health certification, testing, and treatment requirements that the Agency considers necessary to have assurances regarding the health and welfare of livestock exported from the U.S. The regulations take effect on February 19, 2016.
- The goal of the new rule is to provide APHIS and exporters with more flexibility in arranging for the export of livestock from the U.S. while continuing to ensure the health and welfare of animals.