Could pet chews bring the next FMD outbreak?

You see dog chews all over Big R, Pet-co and North 40 but did you ever really stop to think about where they came from and how that could affect your cattle??

Imported animal parts can carry disease and bacteria.

The notice below from USDA opened my eyes a little. I don’t hardly ever purchase chew toys for our dogs as there is plenty on a ranch for dogs to gnaw- dead creatures and after-birth jerky abound. Then there is always the plentiful Rhode Apple.

I just wonder what we will bring to our country via these entertainment for our pets.



On March 15, 2016 USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will update and clarify Guideline #1119, titled Pet Chews/Treats made of Antlers or Rawhide, which describes the requirements for importing pet chews/treats made of bovine rawhide or antlers.

The update will require a USDA Veterinary Services (VS) Import Permit for all pet chews/treats made of rawhide or antlers which do not meet the following parameters.


  1. Rawhide

Plain rawhide (natural or whitened)to be used as pet chews/treats (cut, molded, or in sheets), which has not been ground, flavored, basted, colored, or otherwise processed, is allowed entry without a VS Import Permit. All shipments are subject to inspection by Customs and Border Protection personnel at the U.S. port of arrival. Rawhide which does not meet this use requirement must be accompanied by a USDA VS Import Permit.

Rawhide is defined as untanned cattle skin made into leather by dehairing, drying, liming, and other processes. Products which do not meet this description, such as pork hides labelled as “rawhide,” require a VS Import Permit.

APHIS research has shown that many artificial flavorings used on rawhide pet chews/treats—while meeting the definition of “artificial”—are derived from animal origin materials.


  1. Antlers

Plain, naturally shed antlers intended for use as pet chews/treats, which have not been ground, powdered, or flavored, and originate from foot and mouth disease (FMD)/Rinderpest-free regions, are allowed entry without a VS Import Permit. The permit must be accompanied by an original health certificate, signed by a full-time salaried veterinarian from the exporting agency responsible for animal health in the region, and must:

  1. Name the FMD/Rinderpest-free country of origin of the antlers; and
  2. Certify that the antlers are clean, dry, and free of soil, clay, sand, tissue, and un-dried       pieces of hide, flesh, sinew, and other related material.

APHIS research has shown that flavored antlers may contain restricted ingredients. Antlers originating from a region affected by FMD and/or Antlers in Velvet must be accompanied by a VS Import Permit unless consigned to an approved establishment.

This clarification is being made to ensure antlers in velvet, which are not naturally shed and may contain bone marrow, are properly mitigated for diseases of concern prior to importation into the United States.

You may submit questions concerning specific import requirements to USDA APHIS by calling (301) 851-3300, choose option #1 or send an email to:

To ensure permits are issued by the implementation date of March 31, 2016, applications for import permits should be submitted immediately. Please be aware that permits should not be presented for import until the implementation date of March 31, 2016.

A copy of the Guideline #1119 may be viewed at


Please share the following link with others who may be interested in these updates. Click here to subscribe to the VS Animal Health Stakeholder Registry. This link will also allow you to change or cancel your subscriptions.


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