USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is adding three countries to its list of those considered free of foot-and-mouth disease and rinderpest. The new additions include the Netherlands, Northern Ireland and Japan.

In changing the countries disease status, it lifts certain restrictions on their ability to import live ruminants and swine, as well as fresh meat and other products into the United States. The three countries will, however, remain under some import restrictions as they relate to meat and animal products because of their proximity to or trading relationships with other global regions that are still affected by FMD or rinderpest.

All three countries will continue to be under restrictions for bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service