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September 09, 2008   Email to Friend 

Darryal Ray
(334) 613-4187
September 09, 2008

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- An industry-wide coalition of livestock organizations has announced the adoption of a standardized affidavit to help producers comply with the mandatory country-of-origin-labeling (COOL) law that takes effect Sept. 30.

"Our goal was to create a simple, efficient and effective means of declaring livestock origin from conception to consumer, and we believe this affidavit does exactly that," says Andy Groseta, president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA). "Producers can fill in info specific to their cattle and assert the origin of any animal being sold. Livestock marketers further along the ownership chain can use individual affidavits to create a single, combined affidavit for a group of animals."

Seventy representatives of more than 30 livestock industry sector, species and food retail organizations and companies met late last month in Kansas City, Mo., to develop universal procedures for implementing requirements of the COOL law.

The group's goal was to agree on universal procedures and language for using the necessary affidavits and/or declarations of COOL to move origin claims along the livestock's chain of custody/ownership to slaughter facilities to assure that meat covered commodities will be accurately labeled at retail.

According to Groseta, representatives from every point in the supply chain unanimously agreed to use this standardized affidavit, which will greatly ease the burden that mandatory COOL places on producers."

In addition to using an affidavit/declaration of origin, the U. S. Department of Agriculture permits packers to rely on the presence of an official ear tag and/or marking on animals that are part of a National Animal Identification System (NAIS) compliant system or other official identification system, such as the Canadian or Mexico official systems.

"Recommended Country of Origin Affidavit/Declaration Statements" are available below or at www.beefusa.org/uDocs/countryoforiginaffidavit453.pdf

For a list of frequently asked COOL questions from USDA, visit www.ams.usda.gov

Click Here For COOL Livestock Affidavit

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