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Pa. vet laboratory prepares cattle for export to Saudi Arabia, Turkey

November 27, 2007

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania's nationally recognized veterinary laboratory is preparing more than 6,000 cattle for export to Saudi Arabia and Turkey in the next two months, Ag Secretary Dennis Wolff said.

All of the cattle were blood tested for diseases through the lab to meet rigid export requirements and to ensure animal and human safety.

"We commend the efforts of those working in the vet laboratory who efficiently and accurately conducted the testing on such a large number of animals," Wolff said. "Facilitating this large export is good for Pennsylvania agriculture and the state's economy."

In 2006, the state exported nearly $23 million in livestock, ranking it in the top 20 nationally in live animal and meat exports.

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Between the end of November and the middle of January, the cattle will travel on four specially-designed cargo ships to Saudi Arabia and Turkey. All of the animals going to Saudi Arabia are bred Holstein heifers and the Turkey shipment includes some beef cattle, in addition to dairy heifers.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is helping facilitate the export project with cattle collected from the state and across the country.

The veterinary Lab tests all of the cattle for brucellosis and bovine leukosis, among other diseases. The animals are then quarantined and vaccinated at the Pennsylvania Holstein Association's farm near Harrisburg before being shipped overseas.

"By using Pennsylvania facilities to prepare the cattle for export, we are stimulating our local economies," Wolff said. "Transport companies, feed mills and veterinarians benefit from the increased business."

To learn more about the state's export business, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us, and click on "Bureaus" and "Market Development."

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