US beef producer Creekstone Farms has volunteered to start testing every animal it slaughters for mad cow disease, in a bid to relaunch exports to foreign customers.
John Stewart, chief executive of Creekstone Farms, said the company has received assurances from its Asian customers that they would accept its beef products if every carcass is tested for BSE, reported the Associated Press.
“We believe it is the right thing to do: to test every animal to give the American public and consumers a comfort level that every animal coming from our facility, all the meat coming from our facility, has been BSE-tested and is BSE-safe,” Stewart said.
The Kentucky-based company has submitted a request to the US Department of Agriculture for the voluntary testing. If the USDA does not approve the testing within the next two months the company said it will be forced to lay off workers due to lower demand. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is the only agency authorised to test for BSE in the US, the Associated Press reported.
Several countries have banned imports of US beef following the discovery of a case of BSE in Washington state in December. Japan, one of the largest buyers of US beef, has said it will not resume imports unless the US commences 100% testing for BSE.