USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has a total of seven temporary export inspection facilities supplementing the work done at the Agency's approved permanent facilities. These temporary facilities reduce the distance animals have to travel prior to export and help exporters meet strict shipping deadlines. U.S. cattle exports doubled in 2011, in addition to a 50 percent increase in 2010 exports.
Rebecca Blue, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, says – overall, U.S. farmers and ranchers are experiencing their best period in history in terms of agricultural exports, and USDA's support is an important part of that success. Blue points out that – through flexible approaches, such as the approval of temporary export facilities, APHIS has adapted to meet the needs of animal exporters while maintaining its high standards for animal health and welfare.
USDA has forecast fiscal year 2012 agricultural exports to reach the second-highest level on record, maintaining a robust trade surplus and supporting more than 1-million jobs. The forecast for livestock, poultry and dairy was increased 1.9-billion dollars, paced by demand for cattle from Russia and Turkey.