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Uruguay wins approval to export ovine meat to U.S.

Meat to be imported must come from lambs that test negative for foot-and-mouth disease.

APHIS announced Sept. 11 that bone-in ovine meat from Uruguay may be imported to the United States.

Uruguay requested an exemption from the current deboning requirements used to protect against foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in order to export bone-in lamb into the United States. After a comprehensive, science-based risk assessment, APHIS decided that bone-in ovine meat may be safely imported under certain conditions, while still protecting the United States from FMD. 

Uruguay will only be able to export meat from a select group of lambs. To mitigate the risk of FMD, these lambs must test negative for FMD, be separated from other FMD-susceptible animals after testing, and have individual animal identification as part of a national traceability system. 

The United States has safely imported boneless beef and lamb from Uruguay since 2003. The proposed rule was published on July 1, 2016 for a 60-day comment period. APHIS reviewed and carefully considered all 17 comments before making this final decision. 

This rule will be available in the Federal Register tomorrow at http://www.regulations.gov. It may be viewed online at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/09/12/2017-19225/imports-bone-in-ovine-meat-from-uruguay.

Source: USDA APHIS

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