Limited Trade Threat from Alabama BSE Case

Response to an atypical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) case in Alabama has been muted by America’s trading partners, with no trade threat is anticipated. Officials at both the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the U.S. Meat Export Federation say the Interlocking Safeguards and BSE Surveillance actions in place prevent such diseased animals from entering the human food supply.

And, according to USDA, this finding of an atypical case will not change the negligible risk status of the United States, as designated by the World Organization for Animal Health.

South Korea’s agriculture ministry said it will strengthen quarantine measures on U.S. beef beginning Wednesday, although the country doesn’t import beef from slaughterhouses or meat processors based in Alabama. Japan has previously taken measures to prevent the entry of BSE from the U.S. and as this case is atypical, there’s no need to take additional action, says the deputy director at the agriculture ministry’s animal health division. Chinese trade officials have made no statement about the latest BSE discovery, and U.S. officials don’t believe it will have an impact on the reopening of the Chinese market to U.S. beef.

Cattle markets in the U.S. appeared to accept the news without any disruptions. Cattle Futures traded higher in the session immediately following the BSE announcement from USDA.