Animal ID program key in Asian beef trade
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) _ Nebraska Agriculture Department Director Greg Ibach says an effective and efficient animal identification program is paramount if Nebraska cattle producers are going to have a strong presence in Asian markets again.
Ibach told people at the Grand Island Family Agri-Expo yesterday that being able to trace cattle to their birth and verify age was key to re-entering the Japanese market.
Japan partially lifted a two-year ban on U-S beef imports on December 12th and Hong Kong followed suit on December 29th. South Korea has scheduled talks with the United States next week on ending its ban.
Japan requires all beef imported from the United States must be from cattle younger than 21 months of age. Hong Kong requires beef from cattle younger than 31 months of age.
Before the first U-S case of mad cow disease was reported in December 2003, Ibach says Nebraska was the nation’s leading beef exporting state at more than $1 billion annually.