Industry leaders from the United States and Mexico joined in the fight to keep foreign animal diseases out of North America, conveneing a Cross-Border Working Group last Friday.

During the regular quarterly meeting of the group, comprised of representatives from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association in the United States and the Confederacion Nacional Ganadera in Mexico, cattlemen from the two countries expressed firm resolve to keep North America free of foot-and-mouth disease.

"We pledge to continue working together to ensure our countries have in place and strictly enforce a multitude of restrictions and barriers to keep foreign animal diseases out of North America," the group said in a release. "We don't have FMD and BSE and we pledge to work tirelessly to ensure we don't get them."

The joint meeting produced several concrete action items to achieve this goal:

  • Widen the buffer zone between Central America and South America.
  • Invite representatives from cattlemen's associations in Guatemala and other Central American countries to the next quarterly meeting this June in Mexico to discuss preventative measures.
  • Bolster emergency preparedness systems.
  • Support diligent and coordinated inspection by the Mexican and United States governments.
  • Through continued education and outreach, maintain confidence of consumers in Mexico and the U.S. about the safety and wholesomeness of beef.
  • Facilitate meetings between the Secretaries of Agriculture and congressional leadership from Mexico and the U.S. to encourage communication and coordination at all levels.

National Cattlemen's Beef Association