McALLEN, Texas (AP) -- U.S. agriculture officials have reopened a cattle importation station that had been closed for six weeks due to increased violence in northern Mexico.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture had stopped sending its veterinarians into the Mexican border cities of Reynosa and Nuevo Laredo in late March when violence gripped the border state of Tamaulipas. During the first month, the move forced nearly 17,000 head of cattle to ports of entry farther to the west, according to the USDA.

The new inspection site, which opened Wednesday, is on the U.S. side of the border in Hidalgo County, Texas, according to a statement from U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar's office. The Laredo Democrat is a member of the House Committee on Agriculture.

The Nuevo Laredo operation remains closed.

Copyright 2010 The AP.

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