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CAN ranchers want WTO appeal

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Feb 13, 2005
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CAN ranchers want WTO appeal

Canadian Cattlemen Urge Government to Appeal U.S. Ban (Update1)

April 18, 2005 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian cattle producers urged their government to seek an end to a U.S. ban on imports of the animals through an appeal to the World Trade Organization or the North American Free Trade Agreement.

``We think it's absolutely necessary to initiate these measures and to get senior trade policy officials in the U.S. engaged on this issue,'' John Masswohl, international relations director for the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, said today in a telephone interview.

The Cattlemen's Association and 23 other groups today sent a letter to Canada's minister for international trade urging the government to seek a new way to overturn the U.S. ban, which was imposed in May 2003 after a case of mad cow disease was discovered in Alberta.

U.S. Department of Agriculture officials, who say Canadian cattle no longer pose a significant risk, were unable to open the border as planned last month after a Montana judge issued an injunction requested by U.S. cattle producers.

The judge's injunction, pending resolution of a lawsuit by U.S. producers, disrupted plans by USDA to resume imports of cattle less than 30 months old, an age at which infection with bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, is considered remote.

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