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South Dakota vs. USDA and Canada over live cattle

23 February 2007

US - A U.S. Senate subcommittee chaired by North Dakota Democrat Byron Dorgan held a field hearing in North Dakota Wednesday on USDA’s proposed over-thirty-month rule, also known as USDA's minimal risk rule II, which would allow any Canadian cattle born after March 1st, 1999 in the U.S. for any purpose. USDA officials have asserted there's no good scientific reason Canadian beef born after that date, which is 18 months after Canada implemented a ruminant-to-ruminant feeding ban, shouldn’t be allowed into the U.S.
But South Dakota GOP Governor Mike Rounds disagrees strongly. He pointed out to Brownfield that three of 10 bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) -positive cattle that originated in Canada were born after that country's feed ban was supposed to be effective. That, Rounds said, proves Canada's ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban isn’t working.

"If the feed ban was effective, we wouldn't have BSE today coming out of those livestock populations coming out of Canada," Rounds said. "Unfortunately, we do, and the reason that we do is that the feed ban is ineffective."

Rounds said that's a key reason why South Dakota opposes opening the U.S. border to more Canadian live cattle. He said that's why his administration has submitted public comments in opposition to USDA's over-thirty-month rule.

Rounds is not an animal scientist. But Dr. Sam Holland, South Dakota's State Veterinarian, is. And Holland told Brownfield the discovery of Canadian cattle born after that country's feed ban should have been working is de facto evidence that it hasn't worked as intended. Therefore, Holland said, USDA's effort to allow even more Canadian cattle into the U.S. is premature.

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Source: Brownfield Network


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