USDA Formally Moves to Prevent All Non-Ambulatory Cattle From Human Food Supply
At the end of August 2008, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as expected, moved to formally ban from the human food supply the slaughter of cattle that become non-ambulatory.
The new rule, published August 29, 2008 in the Federal Register, followed the May 20, 2008, announcement that USDA planned to remove the provision that allowed USDA-Food Safety Inspection Service inspectors to determine the disposition of cattle that became non-ambulatory after they passed ante-mortem inspection. Under this new proposed rule, all cattle that become non-ambulatory at any time prior to slaughter will be condemned and disposed of.
Last April, NMPF, along with the American Meat Institute and the National Meat Association, sent a petition to USDA requesting the elimination of the provision that allows certain non-ambulatory cattle to pass into the human food supply. This newly-proposed rule accomplished exactly what NMPF requested in its petition.
USDA indicated that it would accept comments on the proposed rule until September 29, 2008. NMPF will be submitting comments in support of the proposed rule and encouraging USDA to publish a final rule as soon as possible.