Thursday, November 27, 2014

Texas cattlemen oppose beef imports from Argentina

The president of an organization that speaks for Texas beef producers is worried that foot and mouth disease could strike because the United States Department of Agriculture intends to clear the Patagonia area of Argentina to export beef and cattle to the United States.

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) is deeply concerned with this proposal, writes president Pete Bonds in an on-line article.

“FMD is a severe and highly contagious viral disease of cows, pigs, sheep, goats, deer and other animals with divided hooves.

“It is considered to be one of the most economically devastating livestock diseases in the world and poses a significant risk to not only our country’s cattle herd, but also our national food security,” he writes.

“FMD could also cost our industry hundreds of millions of dollars.  

“I am extremely worried if FMD comes into the cattle herds, especially in Texas with the high population of feral hogs, we could see an unstoppable outbreak of the disease.

“Pigs are more susceptible to the disease than cattle, and with feral hogs being a problem in most of the state, the disease could spread throughout the country,” Bonds writes.

One of the immediate results of any FMD outbreak in the United States would be a ban on exporting red meats, cattle, hogs, sheep and other mammals.