South Dakota senators flexed their bipartisan muscles Wednesday, introducing legislation that would preserve an eight-year-old ban on importing fresh meat and livestock from Argentina.
The indefinite ban was instituted after cattle smuggled into Argentina were found to be infected with the virus that causes foot-and-mouth disease in cattle and swine. Two years ago, the Bush administration proposed lifting the ban on animals imported from Argentina’s Patagonia South Region, despite an outbreak of the disease in a northern province in 2006.
Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., joined with Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., to introduce a bill that would continue the ban until the Department of Agriculture can certify the entire country is free of the disease. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., signed on to co-sponsor the legislation.