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From: TSS ()
Subject: GW STACKS DECK AGAINST R-CALF Montana court date on Canada cattle trade postponed
Date: July 20, 2005 at 12:17 pm PST

Montana court date on Canada cattle trade postponed

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 2:55:38 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A July 27 federal district court hearing at which U.S. ranchers group R-CALF hoped to permanently close the border to imports of Canadian cattle has been postponed, a court clerk told Reuters on Wednesday.

The hearing in Billings, Montana, has been "vacated until further order from the court," the clerk said, adding that no other details were available.

A federal appeals court ruled last week that the U.S. government could end a two-year ban on imports of Canadian cattle imposed after Ottawa discovered its first domestic case of mad cow disease.

The appeals court decision overturned a March ruling by a Montana judge who temporarily halted, at R-CALF's request, the government plan to reopen the border to shipment of Canadian cattle under 30 months old.

(c) Reuters 2005.

Judge postpones R-CALF hearing
Last Updated Jul 20 2005 01:56 PM CDT
CBC News
A Montana judge has delayed a hearing into whether the U.S. border should be permanently closed to Canadian cattle while he reads a pertinent decision from a federal appeals court.

On July 27, Judge Richard Cebull was to begin hearing arguments from R-CALF about why a temporary injunction he issued to keep the border closed should be extended.

But last week, three appeal court judges overturned the temporary injunction and said they will release their written explanation.

Cebull said Wednesday that because he has yet to see the opinion, he won't hear R-CALF's arguments. After reading the decision he will decide whether further hearings are necessary.

Canadian cattle crossed the border into the U.S. for the first time in more than two years Monday, taking advantage of the appeals court decision that allowed animals under the age of 30 months into the country.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture had said that in light of the ruling, it would immediately begin the process to resume imports.

FROM JULY 15, 2005: Border to open to cattle: U.S.
The USDA had been ready to open the border on March 7, but days before Cebull granted a temporary injunction sought by the American ranchers' group R-CALF, which argued Canada doesn't adequately test for mad cow disease.

The USDA had determined that Canada was a minimal risk region for bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

R-CALF has said it would take the matter to the Supreme Court.

The U.S. closed its border to Canadian beef in May 2003, after the first case of BSE in a Canadian-born cow was confirmed. There have been two other positive cases since then, and the first case of BSE in the U.S. – an infected cow in Washington state in December 2003 – had been born in Canada.

Last month, the U.S. confirmed its first case of BSE in a U.S.-born cow.

The U.S. resumed the import of some cuts of Canadian beef in August 2003, but still won't allow cattle to cross the border. It had planned to start by allowing animals under the age of 30 months into the country.

The Canadian cattle industry has lost an estimated $6.5 billion since the border closed.


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