WASHINGTON — On Jan. 2, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced a final rule that adds San Luis, Ariz., as a port to control the import of cattle infested or exposed to fever ticks or tick-borne diseases into the United States from Mexico. However, A.P.H.I.S. will not allow cattle to be imported through the port of San Luis, Ariz., until a new facility for the handling of animals is first constructed on the Mexican side of the border.

The Mexican facility will need to be equipped with facilities necessary for the proper chute inspection, dipping, and testing that are required for such cattle under A.P.H.I.S. regulations.

The regulations require that cattle from Mexico must be inspected individually at A.P.H.I.S.-approved facilities on the Mexican side of the border and be certified free of ticks in order to protect American consumers. If ticks are found, the cattle must be dipped in a solution to kill the parasites. The cattle are then held in quarantine for 10- to 14-days before being re-inspected. If additional ticks are found, the animals must be dipped and quarantined again.

Regulations prohibit or restrict the importation of certain animals, birds and poultry into the United States to prevent the introduction of communicable diseases of livestock and poultry. All ruminants offered for entry into the United States from Mexico must be inspected at the port of entry and found to be free from communicable diseases and fever tick infestation, and to not have been exposed to communicable diseases and fever tick infestation.

Ruminants found to be affected with or to have been exposed to a communicable disease, or infested with fever ticks, will be refused entry except under certain conditions. Cattle that have been exposed to splenetic, southern or tick fever, or that have been infested with or exposed to fever ticks, may be imported from Mexico for admission into the state of Texas, except that portion of the state quarantined because of fever ticks, either at one of the land border ports in Texas listed in the regulations, or at the port of Santa Teresa, N. Mex., provided that certain conditions are met.

This final rule was published in the Jan. 2 Federal Register and became effective immediately.

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