Canadian Ruminant Ban Affects Hunters

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The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish warns New Mexico hunters who hunt in Canada that the United States Department of Agriculture has placed a ban on all ruminant products from Canada. The ban is in effect pending an investigation into bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, in Canada.

No ruminant part can come from Canada into the United States, meaning that no part of deer, elk, caribou or musk ox, including horns and antlers, may enter the United States. U.S. hunters in Canada who bag any game ruminant must eat it all in Canada before leaving and abandon any remaining parts before returning to the United States. These directives may change or be further clarified as hunting season approaches, but for now hunters should be advised.

"USDA is placing Canada under its BSE restriction guidelines and will not accept any ruminants or ruminant products from Canada pending further investigation," said Agriculture Secretary Ann M.Veneman in a statement issued May 20. "We are dispatching a technical team to Canada to assist in the investigation and will provide more detailed information as it becomes available."

Veneman said the U.S. government has taken a series of preventive actions since 1989 to protect the United States against this disease, including prohibitions on the import of live ruminants or ruminant products from countries that may have BSE.