Based on the discovery of foot-and-mouth disease in South Korea, R-CALF USA is asking Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to immediately withdraw its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's final rule to designate Santa Catarina, Brazil, as free of FMD. According to R-CALF USA, APHIS' methodology to declare Santa Catarina, Brazil, free of FMD is precisely the same methodology APHIS used less than a year ago to declare South Korea free of FMD.
R-CALF USA also criticizes APHIS' reliance on its quarantine requirements to mitigate the FMD risk in Brazil, citing a November 2010 Government Accountability Office report that identified material weaknesses in APHIS' quarantine procedures. The report states APHIS officials did not . . . exercise sufficient oversight to ensure import and quarantine requirements were met.
R-CALF USA states it believes APHIS remains intent upon unnecessarily exposing the United States to FMD. "Based on our experience with APHIS, we believe the agency is doing this for no other reason than to reduce the United States' more favorable disease status to the less favorable statuses of many of our import/export customers – an action APHIS likely believes will further facilitate trade." R-CALF USA said it strenuously objects to APHIS' apparent strategy.