U.S. Appeals Court OKs Canada Beef Imports

US - A U.S. appeals court gave the green light on Tuesday to continued Canadian beef and cattle imports, rejecting a rancher group's effort to impose a ban amid mad cow disease concerns.
calendar icon 29 August 2007
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"R-CALF's extra-record evidence has failed to convince us that the agency's review was unauthorized, incomplete, or otherwise improper,"

Judge Hall

The Montana-based Ranchers Cattlemen Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF) argued that live Canadian cattle posed a risk of mad cow disease to the U.S. cattle herd and should be banned.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Canada had safeguards in place to prevent the spread of the deadly disease, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

"Having reviewed the merits of this case, we conclude that the agency considered the relevant factors and articulated a rational connection between the facts found and its decision to designate Canada a minimal-risk country," Judge Cynthia Holcomb Hall wrote for the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The U.S. government imposed a ban on Canadian cattle after Canada found its first domestic case of mad cow disease in 2003. It planned to reopen the border in 2005 to imports of Canadian cattle, but R-CALF obtained a temporary injunction from a federal court in Montana.

The USDA appealed to the 9th Circuit, which rejected R-CALF's arguments and reopened the U.S. border to shipments of Canadian cattle. The Montana federal court in 2006 also ruled in favor of the USDA.

A three-judge 9th Circuit panel based in San Francisco re-examined another R-CALF appeal in its Tuesday ruling.

Source: Reuters
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