The US Department of Agriculture has said that countries that export meat products to the US must be prepared to share information about the security and marketing of their livestock.

"Before, there was no mechanism to revisit and review a country's health status unless there was an outbreak [of a disease such as foot and mouth]," Ed Curlette, spokesman for USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, was quoted as saying by Reuters. "Now we have more flexibility to go to a country and get the information we need."

The rule, which comes into effect on 19 September, was first proposed in March this year.

Under the new rule, if asked to do so by the USDA, countries must provide information on how their animals are raised and sold, veterinary services and biosecurity.