QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS HALLMARK/WESTLAND MEAT PACKING CO.
February 17, 2008
Q. Does the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company export products?
A. In 2007, the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company exported kidneys to the Ivory Coast and livers to the Ivory Coast and Angola. The plant has not exported products to Japan or South Korea since at least 2003.
Q. Does USDA's ongoing BSE surveillance program meet World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) standards? Will international trade be affected?
A. The ongoing surveillance program the United States will collect and test 10 times more samples than required by the OIE. The OIE uses a weighted surveillance points system, which reflects international scientific consensus that the best BSE surveillance programs focus on obtaining quality samples from targeted subpopulations rather than looking at the entire adult cattle population.
The highest point values are assigned to those samples from animals with classic clinical signs of the disease. The lowest point values correspond to clinically normal animals tested at routine slaughter. The goal of this weighted approach is to ensure that countries sample those cattle populations where the disease is most likely to be found.
Now that there is an international consensus through the OIE on BSE surveillance, international trade will improve and markets will reopen under USDA's ongoing BSE surveillance effort.