R-CALF's losses in its war against the Canadian beef industry continued this week as U.S. District Court Judge Richard Cebull in a motion for summary judgment denied a permanent injunction against imports of Canadian live cattle and beef. The case has been pending before Cebull since July 2005.
R-CALF president and Region V director Chuck Kiker says the group's board will consider options to continue those efforts.
"R-CALF remains convinced USDA's decision to allow in imports of cattle and beef from Canada -- a country that clearly has an ongoing BSE problem -- without strengthening measures to prevent the introduction and spread of BSE -- is bad policy and inconsistent with the agency's mandate to protect U.S. ag from foreign diseases," he says.
North of the border, news of Cebull's decision for cattle producers was, of course, met with opposite reaction.
"It's a great relief," says Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) president Hugh Lynch-Staunton. "When the border reopened to under-30 month of age feeder and slaughter cattle last July, many Canadians thought the BSE issue was over. We were well aware a decision against us in the court in Montana could have shut the border again."
R-CALF can appeal Cebull's decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, but it was the Ninth Circuit that reversed the preliminary injunction ordered by Cebull that temporarily halted the border re-opening to Canadian live cattle imports last year. The Ninth Circuit also denied R-CALF's request for a rehearing of that reversal. -- Clint Peck