Mr. Sherman to Baron Fava.
Washington , March 15, 1897 .
Excellency: In further reply to your note of the 22d ultimo, inclosing copy of the decree of the minister of agriculture, industry, and commerce, regulating the importation into Italy by sea of cattle, hides, skins, pork, etc., I have the honor to state that I have received a letter from the Secretary of Agriculture giving his views on the subject.
Mr. Wilson calls attention to the fact that, according to articles of the decree, meats from the United States must be accompanied by a sanitary certificate of origin issued by the competent local authorities and viséed by the Italian consul or consular officer residing or having jurisdiction in the place where the meat is shipped. In the case of most of the European countries the certificates of the local authorities suffice, without the necessity of the consular visé.
The reason for the discrimination against the United States is not apparent, and it may be the cause of much inconvenience and loss to our exporters. The inspection of meats in this country is a Federal inspection, and the certificates are issued by the Government as a guaranty that the animals were free from disease at the time of slaughter and that the meats are sound and wholesome. Mr. Wilson states that he is not aware that the general government of any other country has established an inspection of meats and provided for a government certificate to accompany them when exported to other nations; but whether this be so or not, it is certain that this Government has done everything in its power to meet the objections raised against its meat products, and there can be no reasonable ground for the least discrimination against this class of exports by any country.