FSIS proposes regulation amendment to define yak as exotic animal

Posted: 4 June 2020 | | No comments yet

Amending the regulation aims to avoid disruption to the yak industry and the possible economic harm to producers if the agency stopped voluntarily inspecting yak.

FSIS proposes regulation amendment to define yak as exotic animal

The US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has proposed an amendment to its regulations to define yak and include it among “exotic animals” eligible for voluntary inspection and the USDA voluntary mark of inspection.

Yak is currently not listed in the regulations as an exotic animal, but the agency has been providing voluntary inspection services for yak for many years. Amending the regulations would avoid the need for voluntarily inspections and aims to benefit the industry. FSIS will continue to voluntarily inspect yak during the rulemaking process.

The agency has stated that it is seeking public comments on the proposed rule. Additionally, FSIS is also seeking public comment on whether the regulations should be amended to list all farmed-raised species in the biological families Cervidae (e.g., moose, deer and elk), all Bovidae except those subject to mandatory inspection (e.g., bison, buffalo, water buffalo and impalas), and certain Camelidae (e.g., camel, llama, and alpaca) as eligible for voluntary inspection.

Comments must be received by 31 July 2020.

FSIS proposes rule to eliminate defibrination of livestock blood

USDA’s FSIS has also announced that is proposing a rule to remove the requirement that establishments defibrinate livestock blood collected for human food. This would allow the collection of coagulated livestock blood for use in specialty food products.

FSIS conducted a review of the peer-reviewed literature regarding coagulated blood and did not identify any scientifically supportable food safety concerns. The agency stated that it believes the defibrination requirement is unnecessary to ensure food safety in accordance with the Federal Meat Inspection Act. This updated position is because coagulated blood, like fluid blood, is considered safe for human consumption, provided it is saved from inspected and passed animals, and otherwise produced and prepared in compliance with all other FSIS regulations.

The proposed rule is expected to result in industry cost savings and would also allow industry to fulfil a demand for non-defibrinated blood products in niche markets.

Comments must be received by 31 July 2020.