Comment period extended for Argentina imports
On January 22, APHIS announced the availability of evaluations of the foot-and-mouth disease and rinderpest status of a region of Patagonia, Argentina. That comment period was set to close on Monday, March 24, but APHIS is extending the comment period for an additional 30 days through April 23. This notice is on display in the March 21 edition of the Federal Register, and it officially published March 24.
APHIS’ new risk assessment finds that finds foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is not present in the Patagonia Region of Argentina and that the surveillance, prevention, and control measures in place there are sufficient to minimize the likelihood of introducing FMD into the United States via imports. A separate evaluation by APHIS also determined that rinderpest is not present in the entirety of Argentina. APHIS’ work to analyze the animal health status of the Patagonia Region follows a request from Argentina to export meat and live animals from the region to the United States. APHIS will carefully consider all comments it receives on the updated risk analysis as it determines if it will re-propose to recognize the Patagonia Region as free of FMD and rinderpest and allow exports from the region.
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A strong fat lamb market offers producers hope after the Covid pandemic and the sale of a major lamb plant coupled with the bankruptcy of a marketing cooperative sent the market into turmoil in 2020.