Trade... Employee safety... U.S. Livestock Health… Every organization must work to balance its priorities, and these are just a few of the priorities that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has as part of its work at the livestock inspection facilities along the border between the U.S. and Mexico.
APHIS employees work at these facilities to inspect cattle to ensure they are free of ticks and diseases that could harm U.S. livestock. After violence prevented APHIS inspectors from traveling to several of the existing livestock inspection stations in Mexico, we recognized that we needed a contingency plan to ensure continued trade between the United States and Mexico.
APHIS mobilized a team of 35 operational, financial, contracting, and other experts to quickly stand up three new livestock inspection facilities just across the border inside the United States, which will allow our inspectors to almost seamlessly move inspections to the U.S. side if it is unsafe to cross into Mexico. It only took APHIS four and a half months to build these new facilities in Arizona and New Mexico.
APHIS celebrated this feat September 25-27 at the new facilities in Nogales and Douglas, Arizona and Columbus, New Mexico. Along with Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Ed Avalos and APHIS Associate Administrator Jere Dick, congressional representatives and/or staff representing each location, local elected officials, and cattle industry from the United States and Mexico joined in on the celebration and tour of the inspection facilities.
Participants expressed their appreciation for USDA’s work in support of continued trade and the speed at which APHIS moved to solve this challenging problem.