News Update
Dec. 15, 2005


U.S. Beef to Arrive in Japan Soon

U.S. beef is already being shipped to Japan this weekend, just five days after Japan announced the opening of its borders to U.S. beef from cattle less than 20 months of age, according to

U.S. Meat Export Federation’s (USMEF’s) Phil Seng reported that the first shipment of U.S. beef is scheduled to leave Dec. 17 from Denver, Colo., the article noted. Seng said an intensive public relations campaign will be necessary to reposition U.S. beef in the Japanese market, where media are reporting a majority of consumers fear the product.

During a meeting at the World Trade Organization (WTO) U.S. Agricultural Trade Coalition Conference in Hong Kong, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns applauded Japan’s border decision and offered hope for consumer acceptance in the country.

“I believe Japanese consumers will quickly return to our high-quality U.S. beef when given that opportunity and that choice,” he said. “I will also share with you that this has moved along very, very nicely, and beef is literally within days, if not as we speak, ready to be shipped to Japan.”

Secretary Johanns also reiterated his efforts to open other markets for U.S. beef.

“Now really is the time for South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, China and others to follow the Japanese example and resume normal trading relationships,” he said.


APHIS Publishes Final Rule on Japanese Beef Imports

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has published regulations in the Dec. 14, 2005, Federal Register amending the importation of meat to allow, under certain conditions, the importation of whole cuts of boneless beef from Japan, the American Meat Institute (AMI) reports.

Under APHIS guidelines, beef can be safely imported to the United States from Japan under the following conditions:

• The beef is prepared in an establishment that is eligible to export under the Federal Meat Inspection Act, which includes provisions regarding removal of specified risk materials (SRMs) under appropriate conditions and prohibits the use of air-injection stunning devices.

• Beef must not be derived from cattle subjected to a pithing process at harvest.

• These mitigation measures must be certified by an original certificate issued by an authorized veterinary official of the Japanese government.

To view the entire notice visit


Minnesota To Change TB Status

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will change the state’s bovine tuberculosis (TB) status to modified accredited advanced. The move will place the state one level below TB-free status, a release noted.

Minnesota Board of Animal Health Executive Director and State Veterinarian Dr. Bill Hartmann stated that in the coming weeks, most Minnesota breeding cattle being shipped out of state will have to be tested for TB.

“The USDA will require all breeding cattle 18 months of age and older be tested for bovine TB within 60 days of shipment,” Hartmann said in a release. “Cattle are exempt from the testing requirement, if they are moving interstate directly to slaughter, a feedlot, or if the animals are from a TB-accredited herd.” 

Producers shipping animals across the Minnesota border should contact the state they are shipping to for import requirements.

For more information visit


USDA Funds Research On Helping Small Farms

Secretary Johanns has announced that USDA has awarded $5 million in grants to researchers who will seek new ways to help small farmers remain profitable.

According to USDA, 15 colleges and universities in 13 states will receive grants of $500,000 to better understand what makes small- and mid-sized farms and rural communities prosper.

The Agricultural Prosperity for Small and Medium-Sized Farms program is part of USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) National Research Initiative (NRI) competitive grants program. Projects are eligible for up to $500,000 for two to four years of support.

For more information visit

— compiled by Crystal Albers, Angus Productions Inc.

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