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US to lift BSE-related ban on Canadian cattle

first_img The USDA rule announced yesterday also sets conditions for the importation of sheep, goats, cervids (deer and elk), and llamas, as well as meat and other products derived from them. The 500-page rule will be published in the Federal Register Jan 4 and will take effect Mar 7, the agency said. Surveillance for BSE at levels that have met or exceeded international guidelines for at least the past 7 years Live Canadian cattle will be allowed into the United States only under restrictions designed to ensure that they are slaughtered by the time they reach 30 months of age, the USDA said. The cattle will have to bear permanent marks indicating their origin and must be transported in sealed containers to a feedlot or to slaughter. Moving cattle to more than one feedlot in the United States will be prohibited. “After conducting an extensive review, we are confident that imports of certain commodities from regions of minimal risk can occur with virtually no risk to human or animal health,” US Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said in a news release. Dec 30, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – US officials announced plans yesterday to end the ban on the importation of live Canadian cattle that was imposed when Canada discovered its first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in May 2003. In considering whether to reopen the borders, the USDA considered the possibility of more cases of BSE in Canada, DeHaven said. “Because of the mitigation measures that Canada has in place, we continue to believe the risk is minimal.” See also: When Canada reported its first BSE case in an Alberta cow in May 2003, the United States immediately banned importation of all cattle, beef, and related products from Canada. In August 2003, the USDA lifted the ban on boneless meat from cattle less than 30 months old as well as a few other products from cattle, sheep, and goats. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said the borders will be reopened to live cattle less than 30 months of age and certain other products starting Mar 7. BSE, or mad cow disease, has very rarely been found in cattle younger than 30 months. The decision was based on a determination that Canada is a “minimal risk region” for BSE. If BSE were confirmed in the Canadian cow, “It would not alter the implementation of the U.S. rule announced yesterday that recognizes Canada as a Minimal-Risk Region,” Dr. Ron DeHaven, head of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said in a statement. Ironically, yesterday’s USDA announcement was followed today by a Canadian announcement of a suspected case of BSE in a 10-year-old dairy cow. Results of confirmatory tests on the cow were expected in 3 to 5 days (see link below for separate story). Today USDA officials said they remain confident that Canada’s BSE-prevention program is sound. The USDA cited several Canadian BSE safeguards that helped justify the conclusion that the risk of BSE in Canadian cattle is low: A ban on the use of “specified risk materials” (SRM) in human food. SRM include tissues such as the brain, spinal cord, certain nerve bundles, small intestine, and tonsils, which are likely to carry the BSE agent in an infected animal. (The United States imposed a similar ban on using SRM in human food after its first BSE case was discovered in December 2003.)center_img Import restrictions that minimize exposure to BSE. Since 1990 Canada has banned live ruminants and ruminant products, including rendered protein, from countries that have found BSE in native cattle or are considered to be at significant risk for BSE. Dec 29 USDA announcement CIDRAP News story on the report of a suspected BSE case in Canada “Appropriate epidemiological investigations, risk assessment, and risk mitigation measures imposed as necessary” The USDA first proposed to lift the ban on young Canadian cattle in November 2003. The discovery of the first US case of BSE, in a Canadian-born cow in Washington state in December 2003, prompted the agency to extend the public comment period on that proposal until April of this year. The plan unveiled yesterday appears similar to the proposal presented in November 2003. Even though a renewed flow of Canadian cattle could lower beef prices in the United States, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) welcomed the USDA announcement. NCBA President Jan Lyons said the US beef industry, which lost export markets after the American BSE case was found a year ago, should benefit from the move in the long run. “We expect our trading partners to base their decisions to trade with us on science, and we must do the same,” Lyons stated. “The precedent that has been set by our handling of trade issues with Canada is hurting our government’s ability to fully reopen markets to U.S. beef exports. We must normalize trade with Canada in order for our industry to move forward in the global marketplace, expand our ability to sell U.S. beef to foreign consumers, and put more dollars in the pockets of U.S. producers.” Transcript of Dec 29 USDA news briefing Dec 30 statement by AHIS Administrator Ron DeHaven Before the ban on Canadian cattle, the United States bought about 70% of Canada’s live cattle exports, according to an Associated Press (AP) report today. The New York Times cited a prediction from USDA officials that American feedlots would import 2 million cattle from Canada in 2005, which could lower beef prices for American consumers. A ban on feeding ruminant protein to ruminants since 1997 (the same year the United States imposed a similar ban)last_img read more

Sebelius vows supply of H1N1 vaccine will soon improve

first_imgOct 21, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius promised a Senate committee today that the flow of pandemic H1N1 influenza vaccine doses will greatly improve in November, following its slow start this month.Speaking to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Sebelius blamed production problems for the meager early supplies of vaccine and promised that eventually there will be enough for all Americans who want to be vaccinated.HHS officials had predicted that 45 million doses would be ready for distribution in mid October, followed by about 20 million more each week after that. But as of yesterday, only 12.8 million doses had become available for ordering, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.Low yields, start-up problemsSebelius blamed two problems for the low early production numbers: low yields from the eggs used to grow the vaccine virus—which were reported when pharmaceutical companies started production in the summer—and difficulties in starting up new production lines.”We have some new production lines that have been put in place by the manufacturers; there were glitches in some of these production lines,” she told the committee.”Those two issues have been corrected, so we anticipate that number [of doses] growing exponentially as we move into the season,” she added. “By early November we’re confident that vaccine will be far more widely available. There’ll be enough vaccine so every American who wants to can be vaccinated.”The government has ordered a total of about 250 million doses of H1N1 vaccine from five manufacturers. The expectation is that vaccine deliveries will be completed in December. But the slow start to the vaccine deliveries has complicated planning by state and local health departments and other groups involved in vaccination efforts.Echoing what a CDC official said yesterday, Sebelius also promised today that the availability of seasonal flu vaccine will improve in coming weeks. Public health agencies had encouraged the public to get their seasonal flu immunizations early, before the rollout of the H1N1 vaccine. But supplies of the seasonal vaccine have run short in some areas.”We’ve been assured that production is ramping up,” Sebelius told the committee. “Manufacturers are backfilling that, and it’ll be much more widely available.”IV antiviral authorization expectedIn other comments, Sebelius said HHS will soon issue an emergency use authorization (EUA) for an antiviral drug that can be given intravenously to help critically ill H1N1 patients. The two mainstay antivirals, oseltamivir and zanamivir, are not available in IV formulations.In her written testimony, Sibelius said, “Physicians treating critically ill patients with H1N1 influenza will soon have access to new antviral drugs supported by HHS/BARDA [the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency] and administered intravenously under a CDC sponsored emergency use authorization.”Under questioning by Sen. Joe Lieberman, committee chairman, she said issuance of an EUA is “imminent” but didn’t give a date.Last week a Food and Drug Administration official said a decision was expected soon on an EUA for IV peramivir, an antiviral that’s in the same class as oseltamivir and zanamivir but is not yet licensed.School closures continuingAlso at today’s hearing, Education Secretary Arne Duncan reported that the H1N1 virus has prompted many school closures so far this fall but that the numbers have been below what they were in the spring wave of the pandemic.So far this fall, 628 schools have closed for at least a day, affecting 219,000 students, Duncan told the committee. As of yesterday, 88 schools were closed, affecting 28,000 students and 1,800 teachers, he said.By comparison, in the spring, from Apr 27 through Jun 12, more than 1,350 schools in 35 states closed, affecting 824,966 students and 53,217 teachers, Duncan reported. The peak day was May 5, with 980 schools closed.At the beginning of the H1N1 outbreaks, the CDC recommended that schools close if they had any confirmed or suspected H1N1 cases. But soon afterward, when it became evident that the virus wasn’t as virulent as first feared, the agency advised that schools should focus on identifying and isolating sick students and should close only if they had large numbers of cases. Duncan said schools have been heeding the CDC guidance.He noted that the Education Department, with the CDC and state and local agencies, developed a new school dismissal monitoring system over the summer. The system used earlier didn’t work well, he said.See also: Senate committee hearing page, with links to testimony:http://hsgac.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_id=cbe5331e-19ab-41d5-bffe-7610f97708f0Oct 16 CIDRAP News story “US H1N1 vaccine delayed as cases and deaths rise”http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/swineflu/news/oct1609vaccine.htmllast_img read more

Michael Conlan claims AIBA bantamweight world crown in Doha

first_img Despite going down to a right hook late in the third round, the 23-year-old Belfast fighter came through 30-27, 29-28, 29-27 to add the world title to the Olympic bronze medal he won in London in 2012. Conlan joins Katie Taylor as the only Irish fighters to win AIBA world titles, with Taylor due to go for her sixth in Kazakhstan early next year. Michael Conlan was crowned Ireland’s first men’s AIBA world champion after a unanimous points victory over Uzbekistan’s Murodjon Akhmadaliev in their bantamweight final in Doha. Press Associationcenter_img And they could be joined on Thursday by another Irish winner, with Joe Ward set to face classy Cuban Julio La Cruz in the light-heavyweight final. Conlan was relieved to avoid humiliation at the end after hitting the deck a minute before the end of the fight. He told the BBC: “I am a bit embarrassed at getting knocked down in the last round. “It is the first time I have been on the canvas in my life. He hit me right on the button.” Fellow Irishman Michael O’Reilly missed out on a place at the Rio Olympics following a controversial defeat to Hosam Abdin in the middleweight class. O’ Reilly, who had already won a bronze medal, lost the first two rounds to his Egyptian opponent, despite out punching him, and although he won the third it was not enough to stave off a controversial 29-28 defeat. last_img read more