Barber: Inspections of Mexican cattle to resume

TUCSON, AZ - The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to resume inspections of in-bound cattle from Agua Prieta, Mexico.

U.S. Rep. Ron Barber said Friday he received confirmation from the federal agency that inspections will resume by May 19 once measures are put in place to protect inspectors.

The inspections were halted in January due to drug-related violence.

The Arizona congressman says halting the inspections has had negative impacts on Douglas, other parts of southern Arizona and the ranching community.

In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Barber wrote the restriction has brought the region's cattle business to a halt during its prime season.

The USDA says it's considering equipping inspectors with tracking devices and getting permission from customs officials for inspectors to re-enter the U.S. without passing through Agua Prieta in case of an emergency.

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