The Ministry of Agriculture has launched a multi-million dollar National Cattle Sanitary Plan project. According to a government press release, the project which is being implemented in collaboration with the European Union carries a price tag of twelve point two million dollars, half of which will be provided by the E.U. The project, according to the official release, aims to promote diversification of Belize’s export base through compliance with the World Organization for Animal Health requirements for bovine, animal health and the requirements established by Mexico, for the export of live cattle under formal agreement between the two countries. The Ministry of Agriculture’s press release says that “this implementation of the National Cattle Sanitary Plan is to test all cattle in the country for Brucellosis, Tuberculosis and a surveillance plan for BSE or Mad Cow Disease.” Under the project a national livestock registry will also be developed for the exportation of cattle to Mexico and other countries. This project, which has been in the works for two years, includes technical expertise from IICA, Belize Agriculture Health Authority, Belize Livestock Producers Association, Ministry of Agriculture, OIRSA and SAGARPA, Mexico. The government release ends by saying that this three-year project will open the way for local cattle farmers to export cattle to Mexico starting next year. The testing of Belize’s cattle herd will take approximately eight months to complete, and follow up work will be carried out in 2014.