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					                                                                Karen Eggert   (301) 734-7280
                                                                Andrea McNally (202) 690-4178

      PANAMA ALLOWS FOR IMPORTATION OF U.S. CATTLE IN LINE WITH
                     INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS

       WASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 2007--The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and
Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today announced that consistent with international
standards, Panama is allowing the importation of U.S. cattle of all ages.

         “Panama’s decision demonstrates confidence in the United States’ ability to effectively
protect animal health and food safety with science-based safeguards,” said APHIS administrator
Cindy Smith. “We are pleased that Panama and other trading partners are taking steps to align
their import requirements with international standards that support full market access for U.S.
cattle.”

        In May 2007, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) formally classified the
United States as a controlled risk country for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). This
status confirms that U.S. BSE regulatory controls are effective and that U.S. cattle can be safely
traded.

       Panama stopped allowing the importation of live U.S. cattle after BSE was detected in an
imported Canadian cow in December 2003. Panama has already reopened its border to the
importation of cattle products from the United States. Before the ban, Panama’s market for live
U.S. cattle exports was quickly expanding. In 2003, Panama’s importation of live U.S. cattle
doubled what had been imported in the previous three years combined.

        APHIS has worked closely with Panama since that time to regain full market access.
APHIS will continue to encourage other countries to take steps to align their requirements with
international standards.

                                                 #

Note to Reporters: USDA news releases, program announcements and media advisories are
available on the Internet. Go to the APHIS news release page at
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom. Also, anyone with an e-mail address can sign up to
receive APHIS press releases automatically. Send an e-mail message to
lyris@mdrdlyriss10.aphis.usda.govand leave the subject blank. In the message, type
subscribe press_releases.

				
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