|Argentina Legislation Introduced
(August 1, 2008) U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson (S.D.) was successful in leading approval of language in the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations regarding a U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) proposal to allow livestock and meat from areas of Argentina. The amendment to the 2009 agriculture spending bill would prevent the USDA from spending any money to implement the plan in fiscal year 2009 to open U.S. borders to imports of fresh meat and livestock from Argentina.
The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) actively supported the amendment to the appropriations bill and commends Johnson and members of the appropriations committee for approval of the language.
ASI President Burdell Johnson (N.D.) states, "This is a good first step to addressing the proposal on Argentina, and we are committed to working with the U.S. Senate and House to legislative resolution."
Johnson and Sen. Mike Enzi (Wyo.) also developed The Foot and Mouth Desiese Prevention Act of 2008 following the repeated concerns of their constituents worried about the risks of the proposal. Since the bill's introduction on July 10, the legislation has an additional 11 cosponsors from both sides of the political aisle.
An identical bill was also introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Barbara Cubin (Wyo.) and Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (S.D.). Representatives from several other livestock states also supported the language.
In 2007, the USDA announced plans to allow cattle, sheep and swine and certain livestock product imports from a region within Argentina. Although the region itself is believed to be free of the disease with vaccination, FMD is found in the surrounding regions and countries.