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Steve Weber, (603) 271-2461
Jane Vachon, (603) 271-3211
July 17, 2003

Some Antlers, Hides and Capes Exempt from Canada Ruminant Ban

CONCORD, N.H. -- The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a memo clarifying import restrictions for ruminants and ruminant products from Canada. The restrictions apply to all ruminants including hunter-killed deer, elk, moose and caribou.

Under the import restrictions, which were originally instated on May 20, all ruminant meat from Canada is prohibited from entering the United States.

The new USDA memo allows exemptions for clean ruminant antlers, hides and capes, in addition to taxidermy mounts. The goal of the restriction is to keep large amounts of blood and tissue (the potentially infectious portions of the carcass) from crossing the border.

The original import restrictions were put in place following confirmation that a cow in Alberta is infected with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), also known as Mad Cow Disease. BSE has never been found in the United States, and scientific research suggests that risk to human health and the possibility of transmission to animals in the United States is very low.

The USDA memo may be found at www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/issues/bse/bse_hunting.pdf*

For more on BSE and the ruminant restrictions, visit www.usda.gov.

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