R-CALF Files Appeal Brief On Canada Border Issue
R-CALF filed a brief last week urging the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to remand the group's litigation against USDA back to the District Court of Montana. The brief claims the District Court ruled last August against R-CALF's request for a permanent injunction on Canadian cattle and beef trade into the U.S. only because the District Court incorrectly concluded the 9th Circuit already had resolved the merits of R-CALF's entire case.

The brief says hundreds of pages of additional material was not considered by the 9th Circuit in overturning the preliminary injunction. In addition, that information wasn't considered by the District Court before it ultimately ruled in USDA's favor in August 2006, R-CALF contends.

Among that additional evidence, the brief says, "is the reference to other statements of Congressional intent, official statements from USDA that contradict previous statements made by the agency in support of the Final Rule, as well as empirical evidence (the discovery of BSE in younger Canadian cattle) that flatly contradicts USDA's assumption that any remaining BSE-infected cattle in Canada would be few and would have been exposed to BSE prior to Canada's 1997 ruminant-to ruminant feed ban."

The U.S. Department of Justice will file a responsive brief on behalf of USDA by Jan. 25, with supporting amicus briefs due a week later.
-- Joe Roybal