Class Action Seeks Compensation For Canada Beef

CANADA - The Canadian beef industry took a step closer to easing the pain of the country's BSE crisis after Quebec Superior Court Justice Richard Wagner granted authorization for a billion dollar class action suit against the Federal Government to proceed to trial.
calendar icon 25 June 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
The class action lawsuits allege that the BSE crisis, the closing of the U.S. and other international borders to Canadian cattle and beef, and the loss of billions of dollars by the Canadian cattle industry were the result of gross incompetence on the part of the Canadian government.

Even though the US resumed live imports of Canadian cattle in 2005, beef supplies from Canada to the US are still 20 per cent below the 148,552 metric tons sent across the border prior to 2003, according to a USDA report released last year.

In order to salvage some of what was lost, class action claims were filed cooperatively on behalf of all commercial farmers of cattle by a team of lawyers in the courts of Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta in April 2005.

The announcement by Wagner looks to take the action one-step closer to success to redressing the $9bn lost by the Canadian beef industry as a result of the BSE crisis, according to figures from Statistics Canada.

Co-counsel in the Quebec action, Gilles Gareau and Cameron Pallett, welcomed the decision.

"It is a view held by many experts that the BSE crisis would never have happened if the Federal Government had not been asleep at the wheel. We would recommend that all potential members of the class retain their financial records going as far back as possible, as these records may be critical in determining the financial damages they are entitled to recover," they said.

Source: Meat
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