I was reading an article about the ban of the American beef in Japan
Japan will start buying beef from America again following the lifting yesterday of a two-year ban. The Japanese government gave the green light for US cattle under the age of 21 months to be sold in Japanís stores. Agricultural safety experts decided young cows were free from BSE (mad cow disease).
I think the author should have used (are) instead of (were) because
we are taking about a current situation.
Am I correct and if I am wrong why ?
They decided young cows were free of BSE.
They decided Young cows are free of BSE.
Present "are" expresses a statement of fact. In other words, is it true that all young cows, past, present, and future 'are' free of BSE? Possibly yes, but does the author want to be held responsible for that statement? "were" is safe.