Cattle producers welcome Senate intervention in USDA's proposed OTM Rule

US - Cattle producers were pleased to learn that a bipartisan group of four Senators from major cattle-producing states sent a letter of concern to Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns regarding the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) proposed rule (Rule 2) that would permit live Canadian cattle born after March 1, 1999, to be imported into the United States.
calendar icon 13 February 2007
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USDA published this proposed rule in the Federal Register on Jan. 9. In particular, the rule deals with Canadian cattle over 30 months (OTM) of age. Public comments on the proposal are due March 12. Authors of the letter to USDA were: Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.

"Increasing U.S. imports of Canadian cattle and beef at this time would have a significant negative impact on the economic well-being of American cattle producers and could seriously disrupt our efforts to expand U.S. beef exports overseas...Furthermore, expanding Canadian cattle imports increases the possibility that a future case of BSE in a Canadian animal may be found in the United States. Three of Canada's nine BSE cases occurred in cattle born long after the March 1, 1999 date proposed in the rule..." the letter stated in part.

"R-CALF thanks these four Senators for recognizing this issue is critical to independent U.S. cattle producers, and we hope other members of Congress will follow their lead in urging USDA to withdraw this proposed rule at once," said R-CALF USA President and Region VI Director Max Thornsberry, a veterinarian who also chairs the R-CALF USA Animal Health Committee.

Source: North Texas e-News
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