Stockgrowers Urge USDA to Keep Canadian Border Closed
(Note: All the more reason to implement Country Of Origin Labeling -- COOL -- as soon as possible, and stop the seemingly endless posturing about the difficulties of implementing something that would actually HELP the American economy! Note the global control ties that bind in the bold text, added for emphasis.)
April 7, 2004
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In a letter to USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association today expressed its opposition to the proposal to allow Canadian live cattle into the United States.
APHIS is the agency responsible for "protecting and promoting U.S. agricultural health," according to the USDA Website.
"The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association opposes the proposal to open the
Canadian border to live cattle. In addition, we urge USDA to ban the importation of any beef from Canada at this time, including the boxed beef that is currently allowed into this country," said Stockgrowers President Ken Knuppe, Buffalo Gap, South Dakota, in the letter.
The Stockgrowers stressed to USDA that Canada is not considered "minimal
risk" for BSE, as the feed ban on ruminant by-products has not been in place for the required length of time.
"Currently, the United States is classified as a BSE Provisionally Free Country or Zone, under World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) standards, and for the USDA to facilitate the movement of Canadian live cattle into the United States will put the United States cattle herd at high risk of losing that status," Knuppe stated in the letter.
He went on to remind USDA of South Dakota's, and the country's, reliance on
the cattle industry as an economic factor. Knuppe said, "The cattle industry is vital to the economic well-being of South Dakota, and the United States. When the cattle industry struggles, so do many other segments of the economy. We've witnessed firsthand the taxpayer burden that BSE caused in Canada. Do we want the same for U.S. taxpayers?"
Knuppe reminded USDA officials that, with the U.S. beef export market effectively stalled, re-opening the Canadian border to live cattle will create an oversupply situation in the U.S., forcing U.S. cattle prices down.
Regarding the letter and his comments, Knuppe said, "It is our responsibility, as producers, to let USDA know what we think, and what's best for us. We in the cattle industry will control our own destiny. We can't expect anyone else to work in our favor; we have to do it for ourselves. Ranchers know what it takes to make a profit in this business -- we have to stand up for that."
OIE - World Organization for Animal Health http://www.oie.int/eng/en_index.htm
Objectives of the OIE:
To ensure transparency in the global animal disease and zoonosis situation
To collect, analyse and disseminate scientific veterinary information
To provide expertise and encourage international solidarity in the control of animal diseases
Within its mandate under the WTO SPS Agreement, to safeguard world trade by publishing health standards for international trade in animals and animal products
To improve the legal framework and resources of national Veterinary Services
To provide a better guarantee of the safety of food of animal origin and to promote animal welfare through a science-based approach
History of the OIE:
Excerpt: The ratification of this 1924 Agreement creating the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) based in Paris [r]eflects a desire clearly expressed by the Secretary General of the League of Nations.
The United Nations, which replaced the League of Nations in 1945, established two specialist Agencies: the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 1946 and the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948. Their aims partially covered those of the Office. The presence of these two Agencies called the existence of the OIE into question and the possibility of simply dissolving the organisation was envisaged in 1946, and again in 1951. Thanks to the opposition of numerous OIE Member Countries and Delegates, the functions of the Office were kept alive.