NMSU: Procedures for Exporting Cattle from Chihuahua, Mexico, to the United States
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Procedures for Exporting Cattle from Chihuahua, Mexico, to the United States1


Technical Report 43
Cristina Carmona and Rhonda Skaggs
College of Agriculture and Home Economics, New Mexico State University


Authors: Respectively, Former Graduate Research Assistant, Professor, New Mexico State University (Print friendly PDF)

Table of Contents

Introduction
Bovine Tuberculosis Situation in Mexico
Regionalization for Control of Bovine Tuberculosis in Chihuahua
Overview of Mexican Cattle Export Procedures
Cattle Movement Permit
Tuberculosis and Brucellosis Test Document
Certificate of Herd of Origin of the Cattle
Zoosanitary Certificate
Certificate of Ovariectomy—"Spaying"
Summary and Conclusion
Reference
Appendix: Definitions of U.S. Tuberculosis Regional Classifications

Introduction

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Procedures for exporting cattle from Mexico to the United States recently changed in response to heightened animal health concerns. The latest changes in procedures resulted in additional scrutiny of animals moving from Mexico to the United States; however, exported cattle were already subject to extensive inspection and movement control.

In recent years, approximately 1 million head of cattle have entered the United States from Mexico through 10 ports of entry (Mitchell et al. 2001). These cattle are destined for pasture, backgrounding, finishing and slaughter within the United States. Almost half of the animals cross through ports of entry in Santa Teresa and Columbus, New Mexico, and Presidio, Texas. The majority of cattle coming into the United States through these ports originate in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, although cattle from other Mexican states also enter here.

Cattle producers in northern Mexico are export-oriented and have a long history of selling their young feeder animals into the U.S. market. Relationships between cattle industry players in the U.S.-Mexico border region are well-established and very strong. Export of steer and spayed heifer calves to the United States is the primary source of income for many cattle producers in northern Mexico; members of the industry on both sides of the border have maintained ties across many decades and through numerous disruptions to the regional cattle industry.

Cattle export activity in northern Mexico is primarily determined by rainfall levels, which dictate the availability of range forage throughout the cattle-producing areas. October through January are the busiest months for cattle exports, because this is the period when Mexican producers deplete their pastures and must market young animals.

Within the United States, little information is available to accurately describe the procedures that must be followed by Mexican exporters who sell their cattle into the U.S. market. More questions about the Mexican export process have arisen in recent years due to increased concerns about existing and emerging animal and human health issues, as well as potential bio-terrorism threats. This report is presented in order to describe the steps that must be followed to export cattle from the state of Chihuahua to the United States. Chihuahua is used in this publication because it is Mexico's leading export state. The objective will be accomplished by reviewing and explaining the general regulatory climate under which Mexican cattle are exported and the specific documentation required in order to export cattle. Regulations for transporting cattle within Chihuahua state differ from other Mexican states; however, the same exporting procedures apply. Because cattle production and export are important economic activities in the state of Chihuahua, there is a high degree of monitoring and control of the livestock industry so as to not endanger the Chihuahuan cattle's access to the U.S. market.

Bovine Tuberculosis Situation in Mexico

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Chihuahua state has promoted various campaigns to control and eradicate bovine tuberculosis since 1972. More information about these efforts is available at the Unión Ganadera Regional de Chihuahua (Chihuahua State Cattle Growers' Association) Web site (listed in the reference section of this report). Chihuahua's extensive rules and regulations are mainly used to control cattle movement between municipios (counties) and between zones within the state. Federal rules and regulations are used to control cattle movements between Mexican states. Chihuahua state has increased control of cattle transportation between municipios as part of the overall state government's campaign to control the spread of bovine tuberculosis and intensify eradication efforts (Chihuahua, Gobierno del Estado, 2002). The Chihuahua Bovine Tuberculosis and Brucellosis Eradication Sub-Committee (founded in 1992) operates the campaign, which was created as a result of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommendations. Control and eradication of brucellosis are also objectives of the Mexican federal and state governments; however, tuberculosis control and eradication is conventionally considered to be the primary goal of binational cattle disease management efforts.

In 1993, a U.S.-Mexico group was created with the objective of coordinating and intensifying bovine tuberculosis control and eradication efforts in the two countries. The group consists of 16 members, with eight representatives from each country. Border-state veterinarians from Arizona, California, Texas and New Mexico signed a formal document at the initiation of the binational agreement, which laid out eligibility requirements necessary to import Mexican cattle into the United States. According to the agreement, Mexican states in phases 1 and 2 could export to the United States, upon extensive review and examination of their tuberculosis control and eradication efforts. Mexican states with no tuberculosis campaign were classified as nonstatus or phase "0," which means that cattle from these states are not allowed to enter the United States.

In 2001, the USDA decided to give Mexico a single bovine tuberculosis status. The classification status called "Accredited Preparatory" consists of requirements for both herd and individual tuberculosis testing of animals before they can be exported to the United States. The USDA granted a "waiver" condition to Mexican states under phase 2 of bovine tuberculosis control and eradication and removed the whole-herd test requirement (Unión Ganadera Regional de Chihuahua, 2004). The number of dairy and beef cattle herds were taken into account for determination of overall tuberculosis prevalence. The extension of the "waiver" condition included the requirement that a Mexican state must have lowered its tuberculosis prevalence to 0.25% by June 2003 and 0.1% by June 2005.

The USDA's bovine tuberculosis classification of Mexican states (as of January 2002) is shown in fig. 1. Seven Mexican states are in the eradication phase: Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Yucat^n and Quintana Roo (highlighted). Twenty-five states are in the control phase. Sonora always has been placed in a higher status that any other Mexican state because of its low tuberculosis incidence. As of 2004, no Mexican states are considered to be free of bovine tuberculosis. The dates in fig. 1 indicate the years when each state's tuberculosis status was verified by the USDA.

Map of USDA bovine tuberculosis classification of Mexican states.

Figure 1. USDA bovine tuberculosis classification of Mexican states.
Source: Union Ganadera Regional de Chihuahua

As part of Mexico's continuing bovine tuberculosis eradication and control efforts, cattle producers in each Mexican state must follow specific procedures to transport cattle from one point to another. These procedures involve the issuance of permits to move cattle every time they are moved, obtaining official ear tags related to the movement permits, and undergoing inspections at various points along transportation routes. The same procedures apply whether cattle are strictly for use and/or slaughter within Mexico or destined for export to the United States.

The strict Mexican cattle transport procedures were implemented to control cattle movement and make the export process more efficient while complying with U.S. requirements for imported cattle. The cattle transport rules are a critical component of Mexico's efforts to eradicate bovine tuberculosis through regionalization, where areas within individual states are classified relative to their bovine tuberculosis status.

As a result of changes in recent years, the Mexican federal and state governments now have extensive control over movements of cattle within and among states. Control begins at an animal's point of origin and extends through the export process. In May 2002, the Chihuahua Bovine Tuberculosis and Brucellosis Eradication Sub-Committee implemented a unique identification system for cattle. This system features green ear tags that are distributed in each municipio where cattle originate (Chihuahua, Gobierno del Estado, 2002). This identification system is the foundation of movement control.

In previous years, it was more difficult to identify the origin of a tuberculosis-infected animal. Cattle traceability has been significantly improved as a result of the system of colored ear tags. Municipios issue identification numbers for individual animals, so any animal movement can be followed since each animal must have a green tag (arete verde). Each municipio has to buy the tags from the state livestock department. In this way, the livestock department keeps the information corresponding to each municipio (how many ear tags were sold and the progressive ear tag numbers) and can monitor cattle movements (Ramirez Godínez 2004). The green ear tag must be attached to each animal when the animal first moves from the location where it was born. The green ear tag is applied by the original owner and remains with the animal whether it is moved by the same owner, sold or traded to a second owner. As a result, if an animal is later identified as positive for bovine tuberculosis, the municipio, first owner and location of the ranch of origin will be found, with the ranch placed under observation and the animals subject to additional testing.

Thus, the green ear tag data system permits identification of an animal's herd of origin and also its owner's name, municipio of origin and brand registration. The government in each municipio has the authority to issue green ear tags to producers whenever they need to move cattle. However, it is illegal for producers to exchange green tags. Prior to any cattle marketing or transporting, producers need to know how many animals they will be selling or moving. In this way, the progressive ear tags remain registered and include the producer's name, municipio, brand, etc. In the case of exchanges of cattle between owners and rebranding, the green ear tag number does not coincide with the cattle's brand. Cattle destined for export to the United States also have blue ear tags with unique identification numbers. Blue ear tags are evidence that the animal was tested negatively for tuberculosis.

In subsequent movements of an animal throughout its lifetime, the original green ear tag numbers are present on the necessary livestock movement permits. Authorities in the municipios issue these livestock movement permits. Both the green ear tag and blue export ear tag information must coincide with each animal's brand. The green tag must be applied in the right ear, and the blue one in the left ear. In order to get a green and/or a blue ear tag, a producer must present a brand card (i.e., a record of brand registration in Chihuahua state). Blue tags are handled only by Mexican-accredited veterinarians. It is illegal for a producer to apply the official blue tags; they must be applied to an animal by a veterinarian (Ramirez Godínez, 2004).

Regionalization for Control of Bovine Tuberculosis in Chihuahua

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Regionalization is an international trade policy that allows distinct areas within a country or region that are free of a specified animal disease to export related commodities even if the rest of the country remains quarantined (USDA-APHIS, 2001). The state of Chihuahua is regionalized, or divided according to the prevalence of bovine tuberculosis, into specifically delineated areas. Areas with large numbers of dairy cattle are classified differently from the rest of the state, due to the higher prevalence of tuberculosis in dairy animals. These areas are defined as Region A, Region B1, Region B2 and Region B3. The boundaries for these regions change frequently due to herd depopulation in the B zones. Region A is the largest part of Chihuahua's territory, with 56 municipios. Region B1 includes the municipios of Cuauhtemoc, Riva Palacio, Namiquipa and Cusihuiriachi. The municipios of Chihuahua, Aldama and Aquiles Serdan are part of Region B2. Region B3 consists of the municipios of Delicias, Rosales, Meoqui and Saucillo (for some regions the entire municipio is not included).

Twenty-one casetas (checkpoints) and 15 volantas (roving inspection stations) control movement of cattle among bovine tuberculosis zones (Chihuahua, Gobierno del Estado, 2002). Checkpoints are located on main highways and roads (fig. 2), and staffed by state government employees. Cattle transported on these roads are routinely inspected at the checkpoints. The volantas are frequently relocated to help control movements among zones (Prado, 2004).

Checkpoint locations are listed below:

1-Palomas 10-El Fresno 19-La Morita
2-San Gerónimo 11-El Km 62 20-Cardenas
3-Ojinaga 12-Aldama 21-San Jose (Bachíniva)
4-Janos 13-Camargo  
5-Buenaventura 14-Jiménez  
6-Soto Maynez 15-Escalón  
7-Casa Colorada 16-Charcos  
8-Las Estrellas 17-El Granillo  
9-El Pino 18-La Casita  

Map of inspection stations in Chihuahua state (May 2002).

Figure 2. Inspection stations in Chihuahua state (May 2002).
Source: Chihuahua Bovine Tuberculosis and Brucellosis Eradication Sub-Committee.

Animals transported on the highway from southern Chihuahua to northern Chihuahua (or east to west) from an A region to another A region (or for export to the United States) cannot be offloaded in a B region. Animals originating from a B region cannot enter into an A region unless they are going immediately to slaughter. Animals originating in a B region must stay in a B region until they are slaughtered.

Overview of Mexican Cattle Export Procedures

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As previously stated, the objective of this report is to describe the procedures that are followed in order to export cattle from the state of Chihuahua to the United States. The information in this report reflects requirements in place as of 2004. Procedures for cattle exports from northern Mexican states other than Chihuahua are similar to the procedures described here.

Figure 3 presents an overview of the requirements that must be met for exporting Mexican cattle to the United States. The cattle movement permit, tuberculosis and brucellosis tests, certificate of herd of origin, zoosanitary certificate, and certificate of ovariectomy documetns are described below.

Chart of overview of requirements to export cattle from Chihuahua, Mexico, to the United States.

Figure 3. Overview of requirements to export cattle from Chihuahua, Mexico, to the United States.

Cattle Movement Permit

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The government of each municipio in Chihuahua issues cattle permits (pases demovilización) when cattle are being moved from one municipio to another. These cattle movement permits are also referred to as pases de ganado, and must be obtained for any movements of cattle (whether destined for export or not). In order to receive a cattle permit, proof of ownership or legal interest in the animals must be presented by the person requesting the permit. The movement permit is valid for 10 days for only one movement of the cattle designated on the permit. The permit indicates the destination of the cattle, and does not authorize partial movement of cattle to intermediate points. The permits are uniquely numbered (i.e., folio).

Figure 4 is a reproduction of a pase de ganado issued in Chihuahua. The information included on the pase is described below, with numbers referring to the place on the form where the information is located. The sample pase was issued in the San Francisco de Borja municipio (1) located in the southwest region of Chihuahua. The permit was issued by the San Francisco de Borja presidente municipal (an elected official equivalent to mayor or a chair of a U.S. board of county commissioners) (2). The date when the permit was issued is in (3). The name and address of the owner of this permit is presented in (4). Under number (5), the origin of the animals is written, along with the purpose for which the cattle are being moved (e.g., export). In (6), the name and address of the person requesting the permit is shown. Box (7) indicates the person responsible for the cattle during transportation to their destination is the same person who requested the pase and that the cattle are destined for Palomas, a small city in the Ascención municipio situated on the U.S.-Mexico border, near Columbus, New Mexico. There is a small cattle crossing facility in Palomas, owned and managed by the Unión Ganadera Regional de Chihuahua (UGRCh). The Columbus, New Mexico, portion of the cattle crossing is owned and managed by a private firm.

Image of Cattle Movement Permit

Figure 4. Cattle Movement Permit

The person responsible for preparing the pase de ganado is shown in (8), (9) indicates the type of transportation that will be used to move the animals ("jaul" is short for jaula ganadera, which means a truck with a cattle hauling trailer), and (10) is for the license plates of the vehicle.

Under (11) is a list of tests and certificates that apply to the animals being transported. The Certificado Zoosanitario is the Mexican federal animal health certificate, the Certificado Brucelosis, and Certificado Tuberculosis refer to tests for both diseases, Certificado A Garrapata indicates a tick test, and Guía de Tr^nsito is another certificate that is issued by the municipio in cases where the cattle have to be moved to another state in Mexican territory.

The name of the person who has requested the pase de ganado is shown in (12). The animal brand license number (issued by the state of Chihuahua) is shown in (13), and the type of animals being transported is written in (14). "Bece" indicates that becerros or calves were being transported, (15) shows that the calves were machos or males, and (16) shows that there were 75 animals included in the permit.

The number of the factura (17) refers to an invoice given by the seller of the cattle. In most cases it does not apply because seller and buyer trade without an official transaction. The number of an earlier pase de ganado can be written in (18). Brands on the animals covered by the pase are drawn in the spaces under (19), with each brand accompanied by its registration number. If the animals being transported under the pase have different brands, that information will be recorded in (12) through (19).

The total number of animals covered by the pase is recorded under (20). The signature of the person who is going to transport the cattle is recorded under (21) (which in this case is the same person in charge of the exporting and the owner of the cattle). The signature of the presidente municipal (or his or her designated representative) is in (22).

Tuberculosis and Brucellosis Test Document

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Every bovine animal that enters the United States from Mexico must be tested for tuberculosis. The tuberculin test is mandated by the Mexican federal Subsecretaria de Agricultura y Ganaderia, Pesca y Alimentación (SAGARPA) ^ Comision Nacional de Sanidad Agropecuaria ^ Dirección General de Salud Animal. The equivalent agency in the United States is the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) ^ Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) ^ Veterinary Services (VS). Figure 5 shows the blank form used for the tuberculosis testing. The Mexican federal agency's name is presented at the top of the form, followed by Campaña Nacional Contra la Tuberculosis Bovina y Brucelosis, which translates as the National Campaign against Bovine Tuberculosis and Brucellosis. Control de Campo indicates that the animal testing is done at the farm or ranch level. Prueba en Pliegue Caudal describes the nature of the tuberculin or skin reaction test, which is the injection of tuberculin in two skin folds located under the base of the animal's tail. Tuberculin is a bovine tuberculosis protein, and a skin test using tuberculin can show if tuberculosis bacteria have ever infected an animal. The skin test measures the immune response to the microorganism that causes bovine tuberculosis, with the animal showing swelling or discoloration at the site of the tuberculin injection if the animal has been exposed to tuberculosis. An animal which shows a positive reaction to the tuberculin injection does not necessarily indicate that the animal has an active case of tuberculosis; rather, it signals that the animal has been exposed to tuberculosis bacteria. The skin folds must be examined or "read" for the reaction 72 hours after the tuberculin is injected.

Image of Tuberculosis and Brucellosis Test Documentation

Figure 5. Tuberculosis and Brucellosis Test Documentation

The brucellosis test is conducted only on female cattle destined for exportation for breeding or show. Screening tests are used to identify the presence of brucellosis. This test consists of taking a blood sample from the animal and mixing it with an antigen. If agglutination exists on the sample, it indicates brucella.

Dictamen de Prueba de Tuberculina (1) includes space to write down the reference number for a Dictamen, an official letter written for the authorized veterinarian once the tuberculosis test is reviewed. The unique consecutive number of the form is printed in (2). The cattle owner's name and address are recorded in (3), while the ranch name and place where the animals are located at the time of testing is recorded in (4). The reason for doing the tuberculosis test is in (5), and may be exportation to the United States or another reason such as movement between municipios or between states within Mexico. Tipo de explotación (6) indicates whether the animals are used for milk (leche), meat (carne), or both (mixto). Tipo de identificación (7) indicates whether the animals have ear tags (arete), tattoos (tatuaje), or another form of type of identification (otro). The summary of the testing is shown in (8) for both tuberculosis (TB) and brucellosis (BR). The number of animals testing negative (9) or reacting positively (reactores) (10) for the two diseases, the total number of animals tested (probado) (11), and the total number of animals in the herd (hato) (12) are listed.

Boxes (13) through (21) pertain to the tuberculin test. The date and hour the tuberculin was inoculated is recorded in (13) and (14). Information about the tuberculin is presented in (15), with space for recording the dosage level and the lot number. Fecha de caducidad (16) refers to the expiration date for the tuberculin expiration. The date and hour of reading the caudal fold was examined for a reaction to the tuberculin injection are recorded in (17) and (18). The registration number, name and signature of the accredited veterinarian (MVZ) are placed in (19), (20) and (21). MVZ stands for Médico Veterinario Zootecnista.

The identification numbers for individual animals are recorded in (22). Raza abreviaturas (23) is for recording a short description of each animal's breed, while each animal's age (24) and sex (25) are recorded in the next two columns.

Results of palpation and observation at the site of tuberculin injection are recorded in (26), for both before the injection (antes de aplicación) (27) and 72 ± 6 hours after the injection (28). Results of the tuberculin injection are recorded in (29), where the tested animal is classified as "N" for negative or "R" for reactor. Brucellosis test results are recorded in (30). Tubo (31) refers to the identification of the vial or tube with an animal's blood sample. Tarjeta (32) refers to the Buffered Brucella Card test, with "N" and "P" noted for negative and positive reactions.

At the bottom of the form (33) it is noted that the document is not valid for transporting (mobilization) of cattle, and that the expiration of the document is 24 months after the date on which the tuberculin test was read. In (34), rearetado is recorded if an individual animal has been ear tagged again after having lost the first tag, the result of incremento natural (i.e., born to mother cows on the ranch where the test is conducted), or of incremento compra (i.e., added to the ranch's herd through a purchase). Additional instructions for this form include the note that the animal identification numbers should be noted in progressive order from least to greatest, and that animal ages should be recorded in months. The reverse side of this form includes additional lines for recording data for more animals.

Certificate of Herd of Origin of the Cattle

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In order to describe the certificate of origin of the cattle it is important to know general information about it. This certificate is applicable only for veterinary personnel certified by the federal government. After an exporter has completed the cattle movement permitting process and the tuberculosis and brucellosis tests, the next step is to go to the Chihuahua Bovine Tuberculosis and Brucellosis Eradication Sub-Committee. Two or three days before the cattle are exported, certified veterinarians corroborate information for each animal. These veterinarians check animal-by-animal tuberculosis tests, green ear tags and blue ear tags. The certificate that is completed by the certified veterinarian is presented in fig. 6.

Image of Cattle Herd of Origin Certificate

Figure 6. Cattle Herd of Origin Certificate

The certificate has a consecutive number (1), which contains the key for Chihuahua state, consecutive number, and year. In the certificate, the veterinarian certifies that all information on the certificate is true and identifies the herd of origin of the animals described on the certificate. The exporter's personal information follows with exporter name in (2), the exporter or his/her representative's name and signature in (3). The address, including town (colonia), county (municipio) and state are recorded in (4) and (5).

Part II of the certificate covers information related to the tests required for exportation. Information about the tuberculin test is recorded in (6) including a number which refers back to the first item recorded on the tuberculosis and brucellosis testing document described in the preceding section of this report (dictamen de prueba de tuberculina) and the date the negative tuberculin reading was made. The name of the premise (i.e., ranch) where the tuberculin test was performed is recorded in (7). The municipio where the ranch is located is recorded in (8) along with the tuberculosis status of that municipio according to the USDA. The tuberculosis status of a municipio, according to USDA standards, can be: AMA for modified accredited advanced, MA for modified accredited, APW for accredited preparatory with waiver, or AP for accredited preparatory without waiver. Definitions of these status terms are presented in the appendix.

Part III of the certificate presents information related to the nature and status of the lot of animals covered by the certificate. The number of spayed and castrated cattle (both male and female) is recorded in (9). The sequential numbers of the blue export ear tags are listed in (10), along with the number of herds (hatos) from which the animals originated. At this point on the certificate, the examining veterinarian is stating that the animals originated in herds in municipios that are authorized to export to the United States.

Cattle originating in the state of Sonora are not required to be certified as having originated in an authorized municipio because all municipios are authorized for export. In (11), the state or region of origin is recorded, with space (12) used for recording the status of the state or region of origin, again using the USDA classification scheme listed above. Immediately below (12) on the form, the examining veterinarian certifies that Holstein animals or Holstein crossbred animals are not included in the lot.

In Part IV it is noted that annexes describing the origin of the animals in the lot covered by the certificate are attached. Multiple sheets can be attached to the herd of origin certificate.

In (13), information about the approved veterinarian issuing the certificate is recorded, including name, signature (which must be in blue ink), date and place of the signature, the number of the veterinarian, and the expiration of their license for issuing the herd of origin certificates.

In (14), information for the Mexican federal animal health official endorsing the certificate is recorded, including name, signature (in blue ink), date and place of signature. The official seal of the endorsing Mexican federal animal health official is placed in (15).

On the annexes to the certificate of herd of origin, the examining veterinarian fills out the information required for each animal and puts a blue ear tag on each animal to be exported. A copy of the annex is presented in fig. 7. In (1), of fig. 7, the examining veterinarian records a progressive number for the animals, starting with number 1. Each animal's blue export ear tag number is recorded in (2); the municipio of origin is recorded in (3) and will be the same municipio where the green ear tag was issued before the animal was first moved. The status of the origin municipio is recorded in (4), following the key (clave) shown at the bottom of the grid. The owner of the herd of origin is listed in (5), and may or may not be the same name listed as exporter on the first page of the certificate of herd origin.

Image of annex to Cattle Herd of Origin Certificate

Figure 7. Annex to Cattle Herd of Origin Certificate

Other identification for the individual animals is presented in (6), (7), and (8). In (6), the name of the farm or ranch where the animal originated can be recorded. In (7) the number for the original green ear tag can be recorded (although this is optional because the green ear tag is used for animal identification only within Mexico). And in (8), a reference number for a brand, brand license, movement permit, or sales bill can be recorded. Cattle originating in municipios with "accredited preparatory without waiver" status are required to have the last column (9) filled out, showing the tuberculosis herd test chart number (dictamen de prueba de hato).

At the end of the annex sheet showing information for individual animals' herds of origin, (10), (11), and (12) are repeated from page one of the certificate of herd of origin for the examining veterinarian and Mexican federal health official.

Zoosanitary Certificate

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The Mexican federal zoosanitary certificate (fig. 8) is required when cattle are moved, especially between states where requirements for moving cattle differ. This zoosanitary certificate is used for a variety of food and agricultural products, as discussed below. However, several points of information were not recorded in the example zoosanitary certificate shown in fig. 8 at the time the certificate was issued. As with the other forms described here, the zoosanitary certificate also has a unique folio number (1). The purpose of the certificate is shown under (2), which could be cattle movement (movilización de animales), product movement (movilización de productos y subproductos), or compliance with other Mexican laws (cumplimiento Normas Oficiales Mexicanas).

Image of Zoosanitary Certificate

Figure 8. Zoosanitary Certificate

The name and address of the person requesting the zoosanitary certificate are recorded in (3) and (4), respectively. Information about the business or farm of origin for the animals covered under the zoosanitary certificate is recorded in (5), where nombre o razon social is the business or farm name, domicilio refers to the physical place of origin (which is often a specific ranch), población is a town, city, or village, municipio is the county, and estado is the Mexican state. In the bottom right corner of box (5), there is space to record a numeric code for the county and state. These codes are equivalent to the FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) codes used in the United States to identify counties and states.

Similar information is recorded in (6) for the final destination of the animals covered under the zoosanitary certificate, including the business or firm name, and other geographic information for the destination. Again, there is space in (6) to record the standard numeric codes for county and state. For exported cattle, the destination will be recorded as the name of the Mexican export facility at the port-of-entry. San Jerónimo, Chihuahua, is the Mexican counterpart of the Santa Teresa, New Mexico, cattle import-export facility.

The next section of the zoosanitary certificate contains information about the cattle or products being moved. If cattle are being transported, (7) and (8) will show the total number of head. The number is recorded in (7) and also written out in (8). The species being moved is recorded in (9), according to the following options: cattle (bovina), horses (equina), sheep (ovina), goats (caprina), hogs (porcina), poultry (aves), bees (abejas), or another species (otra).

Under number (10), the reason for animal transportation (movilización) must be selected from the following list:

  1. Slaughter (abasto)
  2. Breeding (cria)
  3. Feeding/fattening (engorda)
  4. Exportation (exportación)
  5. Research (investigación)
  6. Grazing (repasto)
  7. Fair or display (exposición o feria)
  8. Sport or performance (deporte o espect^culo)
  9. Other (otro)

The number corresponding to the reason for animal transportation is written in the small square in the bottom right corner of (10). The method of animal marking or identification is recorded in (11). The options for identification are:

  1. Ear tag (arete)
  2. Brand (fierro)
  3. Ear notches (muescas)
  4. Breed (raza)
  5. Color (color)
  6. Bands (anillos)
  7. Lot (lote)
  8. Other (otro)

In case of animal product transportation the zoosanitary certificate will indicate the specific product or by-product, using the list below to record the information in (12):

  1. Meat (carne)
  2. Offal (visceras)
  3. Hides (pieles)
  4. Sebo (tallow)
  5. Lard (manteca)
  6. Sausage or prepared meats (embutidos o carnes frias)
  7. Bones, horns, hooves (huesos, cuernos, o pezuña)
  8. Wool or fleece (lanas)
  9. Bristles or hair (cerda o pelo)
  10. Eggs (huevo)
  11. Honey (miel)
  12. Semen (semen)
  13. Chicken manure/litter (gallinaza)
  14. Manure (estiércol)
  15. Blood (sangre)
  16. Feathers (plumas)
  17. Other (otro)

The purpose (motivo productos) of the animal products or by-products is recorded in (13). The options for recording in (13) are listed below:

  1. Processing (procesamiento)
  2. Consumption (consumo)
  3. Incubation (incubación)
  4. Breeding (reproducción)
  5. Fertilizer (abono)
  6. Animal feed (alimentación animal)
  7. Other (otro)

The units of measurement for the animal products or by-products are recorded in (14), using kilograms, liters, cubic meters, doses, or other. The packaging (presentación) of the animal products or by-products is recorded in (15). The list of options is below:

  1. Bulk or loose (a granel)
  2. Bottled or packaged (envasado o empacado)
  3. Refrigerated or frozen (refrigerado o congelado)
  4. Raw or natural (crudo o natural)
  5. Processed (procesado)
  6. Tanned (curtido)
  7. Pieces (piezas)
  8. Boxes (cajas)
  9. Bales (pacas)
  10. Other (otro)

In (16) the consecutive ear tag numbers of the animals are recorded. If animals from different lots are being transported, there is space to list the consecutive tag numbers of each lot under (16). The method of transportation being used for the animals or animal products is listed in (17), with air (aereo), sea (maritimo), river (fluvial), overland (terrestre) listed as the options. There also is space in (17) for recording the make of the transporting vehicle (marca), license plate issuer (placas), and license plate number (flejes numeros). Verification points (puntos de verificación) (18) refers to any point on the route where the load of animals or animal products is inspected.

In (19), a list or description of laboratory (laboratorio) or field (campo) tests to which the animals or animal products have been subjected is recorded. Special zoosanitary measures or procedures (medidas zoosanitarias especiales), certifications (constancias), or official letters (dictamenes) that pertain to the transported animals or animal products are also recorded in (19). For export cattle, tuberculin test identification numbers are reported in (19), as is the sex of the exported animals (i.e., machos or hembras). The inspecting veterinarian also applies a stamp in (19) certifying that the cattle came from a tick-free zone (procedencia zona libre de garrapata boophilus). Or, if the animals are not from a tick-free zone, a certificate number pertaining to the tick treatment they underwent will be recorded in (19). The name of the federally approved veterinarian (MVZ, or medico veterinario zootecnista) that certifies the tests or procedures is also recorded in (19). The origin of the animals or animal products is reported in (19), usually with the acronym "A.G.L." preceding the geographic place name. A.G.L. means Asociación Ganadera Local, or the small, local cattlegrowers' association in the region where the cattle originated. These associations are member organizations of the larger Unión Ganadera Regional.

In (20), the Unión Ganadera Regional de Chihuahua and the approved veterinarian certify that the animals or animal products are not a zoosanitary risk and that all the requirements of movement have been complied with. The number and name of the certifying veterinarian (MVZ) are recorded under (21) and (22), respectively. Finally, the place the zoosanitary certificate was issued is recorded in (23), the date the zoosanitary certificate was issued is recorded in (24), and date when it expires is recorded in (25).

Certificate of Ovariectomy "Spaying"

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Figure 9, the "Certificate of Ovariectomy^ 'Spaying'" is required for those producers who export female cattle (heifers) for feeding in the United States. The certificate is issued by the USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Veterinary Services Western Region (USDA, APHIS and VS). All female cattle destined for backgrounding and feeding must be spayed before entering the United States. A Mexican veterinarian accredited by the USDA in Mexico is responsible for the spaying. At the time that the veterinarian is doing the ovariectomy surgery an official USDA representative is verifying that the work is done correctly. Number (1) shows the name of the herd owner, followed by the location where the spaying job took place (2). A note is written next, in which the accredited Mexican veterinarian certifies that the spaying surgery has been done through a flank incision (3). Under (3), the Mexican-accredited veterinarian's signature, printed name, and accreditation number are written. In (4) the signature, printed name, and accreditation number of the official monitoring veterinarian of the USDA/APHIS/VS is recorded. The date of the spaying is written in (5). Spayed heifers cannot be imported into the United States for a period of 21 days after spaying (6). Furthermore, the spayed heifers cannot be imported into the United States any later than 180 days after spaying (7). Number
(8) is where the consecutive official USDA ear tag numbers are written (as well as the numbers of voided ear tags). The official USDA ear tag number required on this form is from the blue ear tag required for importation to the United States as evidence of tuberculosis testing. Finally, if any notes are needed, those are recorded in (9).

Image of Certificate of Ovariectomy ^

Figure 9. Certificate of Ovariectomy ^ "Spaying"

Summary and Conclusion

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The objective of this report is to describe the cattle export process in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The overall bovine tuberculosis situation was described, and the documentation necessary to export cattle to the United States was reviewed in detail. Examples of the documents were presented. The rules and regulations for exporting cattle from Chihuahua to the United States have changed significantly in recent years, and will continue to change in response to both existing and emerging animal disease threats. The bovine tuberculosis situation in Chihuahua and the United States continues to evolve. This report provides a summary of the procedures for exporting as of 2004; however, procedures are subject to change.

References

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Chihuahua, Gobierno del Estado. 2002 (May). Regionalización del Estado de Chihuahua Tuberculosis Bovina M. Bovis. Document obtained from the Subcomité de erradicación de la tuberculosis bovina del Estado de Chihuahua.

Mitchell, D. R. Skaggs, W. Gorman, T. Crawford, and L. Southard. "Mexican Cattle Exports to U.S.: Current Perspectives." Agricultural Outlook June-July 2001: 6-9.

Prado, Francisco. Personal Communication, 24 March 2004. Subcomité de erradicación de la tuberculosis bovina del Estado de Chihuahua.

Ramirez Godínez, Jose A. Personal communication, 25 March 2004. Fomento Ganadero, Gobierno del Estado de Chihuahua.


Appendix^Definitions of U.S. Tuberculosis Regional Classifications

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AMA = Acreditado modificado avanzado, or modified accredited advanced.
A state or zone that is or is part of a state that has the authority to enforce and complies with the provisions of the "Uniform Methods and Rules^ Bovine Tuberculosis Eradication'' and in which tuberculosis has been prevalent in less than 0.01 percent of the total number of herds of cattle and bison in the state or zone for each of the most recent two years. Except that: the Administrator, upon his or her review, may allow a state or zone with fewer than 30,000 herds to have up to three affected herds for each of the most recent two years, depending on the veterinary infrastructure, livestock demographics, and tuberculosis control and eradication measures in the state or zone.

MA = Modificado acreditado, or modified accredited. A state or zone that is or is part of a state that has the authority to enforce and complies with the provisions of the "Uniform Methods and Rules--Bovine Tuberculosis Eradication'' and in which tuberculosis has been prevalent in less than 0.1 percent of the total number of herds of cattle and bison in the state or zone for the most recent year. Except that: the Administrator, upon his or her review, may allow a state or zone with fewer than 10,000 herds to have up to 10 affected herds for the most recent year, depending on the veterinary infrastructure, livestock demographics, and tuberculosis control and eradication measures in the state or zone.

APW = Acreditado preparatorio con waiver, or accredited preparatory with waiver. A state or zone that is or is part of a state that has the authority to enforce and complies with the provisions of the "Uniform Methods and Rules--Bovine Tuberculosis Eradication'' and in which tuberculosis is prevalent in less than 0.5 percent of the total number of herds of cattle and bison in the state or zone. The waiver applies to the whole herd tuberculin test.

AP = Acreditado preparatorio sin waiver, or accredited preparatory without waiver. A state or zone that is or is part of a state that has the authority to enforce and complies with the provisions of the "Uniform Methods and Rules--Bovine Tuberculosis Eradication'' and in which tuberculosis is prevalent in less than 0.5 percent of the total number of herds of cattle and bison in the state or zone. The whole herd tuberculin test is not waived.


Footnotes

1This report was prepared by Cristina Carmona, B.S., in partial fulfillments of requirements for the Master of Agriculture^Specialization in Agribusiness degree. The report was prepared under the direction of Dr. Rhonda Skaggs, Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business, New Mexico State University. This publication was prepared with financial support from a U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service cooperative agreement and the New Mexico Agricultural Experiment Station. (back to top)


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January 2006