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Expert says border should stay closed

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HAY MAKER

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Expert says border should stay closed

By MARVIN BAKER, Staff Writer [email protected]


A leading U.S. cattle expert thinks the Canadian border should remain closed to live cattle, and there are several reasons why he believes that.

Dennis McDonald, the trade committee chairman for the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA), said the border reopening doesn't make a lot of sense, because apparently, Canada is being treated differently than other countries, according to international law.
McDonald spoke to about 75 livestock producers and veterinarians Monday night in the North Central Research Extension Center. The meeting was sponsored by the North Central Beef Marketing Club.

Despite two positive cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, in the Canadian herd since the first of the year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is going ahead with plans to implement full cattle trade with Canada.

"We took the final rule and put it up against the international rule and it's not complicated," he said. "I don't know, but it's obvious, there's a different set of rules."

McDonald, who is a renowned international lawyer, as well as a family rancher in Melville, Mont., said according to international law, there shouldn't be any trade with a foreign nation that has known BSE cases for eight years after the case is identified, and trade shouldn't resume until eight years after feed bans go into effect.

If that were to hold true, the United States wouldn't be allowed to accept live Canadian cattle until January 2013. A feed ban, which went into effect in Canada in August 1997, according to that same law, would keep the border closed until at least August of this year.

"Why the exception for Canada?" McDonald asked. "We stopped trading with Scandinavia because they had two cases. We stopped trading with the Ukraine because they had one case. Why is Canada different?"

One Canadian livestock producer who attended Monday's meeting said American beef packers are hell-bent on getting the border open March 7.

Trevor Atchison, who raises Limousin cattle near Pipestone, Man., told the crowd that contrary to what many Americans think, Canadian cattle won't be dumped in the United States.

The discussion got heated between Atchison and another producer who questioned Canada's ability to care for cattle older than 30 months.

Atchison said every animal that crosses the border is purchased by a U.S. buyer, more specifically the beef packers IBP and Cargill.

"These guys are controlling western Canada," Atchison said. "Some of the statements you're hearing may not be true."

McDonald agreed.

"Who stands to gain? The packers," he said. "The potential profit is enormous."

As an example, McDonald said a Canadian veterinarian, who did everything right in diagnosing the first modern case in Alberta that was reported in May 2003, actually knew about the positive mad cow five months before it was reported to the public.

"And what happened between those two dates?" McDonald asked. "The cattle kept coming across the border. I can't quantify the value of that because there are too many zeroes."

McDonald believes that BSE doesn't exist in the U.S. domestic herd. Thus, the best way to protect the domestic herd is to identify all foreign cattle in this country immediately and label them.

The lone positive case that was reported in the United States in December 2003 was an imported Holstein from Alberta.

He said that needs to be done because the British Broadcasting Corp., recently reported that a goat in France was identified to have BSE.

"That's striking because it (BSE) now jumps to another species," McDonald said. "It was found on a farm where a BSE-positive dairy herd was destroyed. It looks like the goat got the disease from eating grass or licking the ground."

And if there is a positive case again in the United States, he said we, as a beef-producing nation, shouldn't market beef in cattle older than 20 months.

That comment created another heated debate from a producer who said up to 30 percent of his income is based on cattle older than 20 months.

McDonald countered that BSE has never been found in cattle aged 20 months or younger, so why even take the chance?

He said there is a theory in cattle country that if the border reopens to live Canadian cattle March 7, statistically within the first year, there will be a 99.9 percent chance that an infected animal will surface in the United States.

In addition, he said the market could crash by as much as 20 percent just by the sheer numbers of cattle that will enter United States ports of entry.

"How do we protect our industry? By our first line of defense," McDonald said. "And that is to keep the disease out of this country and that's why R-CALF has taken its position."

In January, R-CALF filed a lawsuit against USDA, asking the U.S. District Court to overturn the reopening.

It will come down to a March 2 hearing in Billings, Mont., that will determine whether or not the border will reopen March 7 to live Canadian cattle, as USDA originally announced in late December.

R-CALF has generated about $800,000 in contributions to fight USDA. McDonald said it's expensive fighting the U.S. government, but the money raised represents the consensus of cattle producers nationwide.

McDonald said the same judge who was responsible for closing the border in May 2003 will hear this case. He said that is a lot of pressure on one man. However, McDonald is optimistic.

"There are two new cases, otherwise the facts are the same as in 2003," McDonald said. "It's the same judge, the same facts, and I believe it will be the same result."
 

SASH

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An 'Expert' from 'R-CALF'

I thought those terms were mutually exclusive.


And if there is a positive case again in the United States, he said we, as a beef-producing nation, shouldn't market beef in cattle older than 20 months.

Boy, that sound awfully cocky. 'Pride goeth before a fall'. Looks to me like R-CALF is setting up American Cattlemen for a big wreck. Good Luck.
 

don

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And if there is a positive case again in the United States, he said we, as a beef-producing nation, shouldn't market beef in cattle older than 20 months.

so this is your expert?? good thing he's a lawyer to support his ranching enterprise. maybe all r-calfers can take up the practice of law to keep the ranch together when bse shows up.
 

Manitoba_Rancher

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IT sure gets ugly when you get all of these wanna be cattle ranchers involved.. they should keep there day jobs and stay out of the cattle biz!
 

Sandhusker

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"Why the exception for Canada?" McDonald asked. "We stopped trading with Scandinavia because they had two cases. We stopped trading with the Ukraine because they had one case. Why is Canada different?"

That is one of my biggest hangups about the whole deal. We obviously know the answer, but the USDA selling out policy (again) to the big packers infuriorates me.
:mad:

If the OIE changes policy as the USDA is doing and everybody complies, fine, that's the way things work. However, that is clearly not what is happening here. US consumers and producers alike are being railroaded into protecting the big packer's interests. That is not right.
 

frenchie

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don said:
And if there is a positive case again in the United States, he said we, as a beef-producing nation, shouldn't market beef in cattle older than 20 months.

so this is your expert?? good thing he's a lawyer to support his ranching enterprise. maybe all r-calfers can take up the practice of law to keep the ranch together when bse shows up.

Either that or go work in a bank.
 
A

Anonymous

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Sandhusker said:
"Why the exception for Canada?" McDonald asked. "We stopped trading with Scandinavia because they had two cases. We stopped trading with the Ukraine because they had one case. Why is Canada different?"

That is one of my biggest hangups about the whole deal. We obviously know the answer, but the USDA selling out policy (again) to the big packers infuriorates me.
:mad:

If the OIE changes policy as the USDA is doing and everybody complies, fine, that's the way things work. However, that is clearly not what is happening here. US consumers and producers alike are being railroaded into protecting the big packer's interests. That is not right.

Why is Canada different. How many live cattle has the US brought in from Scandinavia and the Ukraine over the past 100 years and how many from Canada. Got a bunch of Ukranian cattle kicking around in the desert somewhere?

The Canadian and US cowherds are so intermixed is why. The other little fact is that since the bans on the 3 countries the US has reported its own case of BSE.
 

Kato

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"As an example, McDonald said a Canadian veterinarian, who did everything right in diagnosing the first modern case in Alberta that was reported in May 2003, actually knew about the positive mad cow five months before it was reported to the public."

Pardon? The cow was tanked because she had pneumonia and was down. Her head was put on hold until there was time to test her, because she showed no CNS (central nervous system) signs.

Who is this mythical veterinarian that can diagnose BSE in a downer pneumonia case? He must be a brilliant man!

As for the rest of the nonsense this so called expert spouts, there's another bullet in the gun that will be turned on American producers some day. :dunce:
 

frenchie

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R-Calf said:
frenchie said:
don said:
And if there is a positive case again in the United States, he said we, as a beef-producing nation, shouldn't market beef in cattle older than 20 months.

so this is your expert?? good thing he's a lawyer to support his ranching enterprise. maybe all r-calfers can take up the practice of law to keep the ranch together when bse shows up.

Either that or go work in a bank.

I question whether these Canucks have a vested interest in the cattle industry myself. If they're the big ranchers they claim to be then how the hell to they have so much time to post so frequently. Me thinks I too smell a rat. And you can damn well be sure that if the tables were turned they to would be R-Calf members, they'll deny it but you know it and I know it.


You know Jared you seem to have a lot of time as well.Just so you know I make time to dispute your r-calf lies.and Jared if you would leave that u alone ,you would have time to post as well. :lol2:
 
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Anonymous

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Kato said:
"As an example, McDonald said a Canadian veterinarian, who did everything right in diagnosing the first modern case in Alberta that was reported in May 2003, actually knew about the positive mad cow five months before it was reported to the public."

Pardon? The cow was tanked because she had pneumonia and was down. Her head was put on hold until there was time to test her, because she showed no CNS (central nervous system) signs.

Who is this mythical veterinarian that can diagnose BSE in a downer pneumonia case? He must be a brilliant man!

As for the rest of the nonsense this so called expert spouts, there's another bullet in the gun that will be turned on American producers some day. :dunce:

R-Calf seems to be full of "experts" but very few with common sense or any foresight when it comes to future implications of their live for the moment attitude.
 

Maple Leaf Angus

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"Expert says border should stay closed...."

This makes more sense when you consider this definition of an expert-
an "ex" is a "has been", and a "spurt " is a drip under pressure..... :)
 

Broke Cowboy

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Well, let me see.

There are experts who say the border should be closed.

There are experts who say the border should be open.

There are ranchers who want the border closed.

There are ranchers who want the border open.

There are university studies that say the border should be closed.

There are university studies that say the border should be open.

There are university studies that say Canadian beef is safe.

There are university studies that say Canadian beef is unsafe.

There are packers wanting the border open.

There are packers wanting the border closed.

There are posters here who want the border open.

There are posters here who want the border closed.

There are some here who claim to be experts.

There are some here who claim to not be experts.

There are media reports that state the border should be closed.

There are media reports that state the border should be open.

All in all, I am seeing a bunch of folks get wrapped around the axles about something they have pretty much have no control over.

I think this is probably my first post on the border issue - I may be wrong.

But, it is darned sure my last!

BC
 
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Anonymous

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Sandhusker: "....but the USDA selling out policy (again) to the big packers infuriorates me."


Sandhusker: "US consumers and producers alike are being railroaded into protecting the big packer's interests."


COULD YOU PLEASE, JUST ONCE, PROVIDE SOME STITCH OF EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT YOUR RELENTLESS "POOR ME" PACKER BLAMING STATEMENTS????"

BACK YOUR POSITION FOR ONCE, GAWD THIS GETS OLD!


~SH~
 
A

Anonymous

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Nebrusker: "I'll keep this simple for you since you make your living trapping simple animals."

Which should mean that a big bad Merriman cattleman like you should have absolutely no trouble burying me in a debate right?

Let's find out who can back their position and who can't shall we?

"GET 'R DONE"!!!!!!!


Nebrusker: "How does opening the border to a known BSE cournty help me as a US rancher."

I'll try to keep this simple to assist you Nebrusker.

1. The first goal SHOULE BE to get back to normalized trade which will help you as a US rancher to receive more money for your cattle than you will with no trade.

2. The second goal SHOULD BE to maintain consumer confidence in the safety of our product.

Keeping the Canadian border closed to live cattle THAT ARE NOW COMING DOWN IN BOXES, and lying about the safety of Canadian beef is not helping us to realize either goal.

If we had normalized trade, your cattle prices would have been higher than they were. You must have forgot that fat cattle prices were at $116 and $117. Feeder calf prices were not reflective of the fat cattle market at that time.

For 7 years prior to the closing of the Canadian border and the loss of our export markets, we were in a $1.3 BILLION dollar trade SURPLUS in cattle, beef, and beef by product trade. You don't just sell the beef Nebrusker, you are selling the hides and ofal too.


Fact - We had BSE within the United States so the United States is a "known BSE country" and precisely why we are no longer trading with Japan. The Canadian origination of the Washington cow is a "red herring" and does not circumvent the fact that it was here on our soil.

Fact - We have traded cattle with Canada for years and our trading partners are fully aware that we have traded cattle with Canada for years. Only a complete idiot would try to deny that fact.

The U.S. cattlemen must accept those facts because our trading partners know those facts. THOSE ARE THE CARDS WE HAVE BEEN DEALT WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT.


Fact - SRM removal, Increased surveilance, and removal of positive BSE animals from the food chain eliminates the risk of contracting BSE whether it's done in Canada or whether it's done in the United States.

"IF CANADIAN BEEF IS UNSAFE, UNITED STATES BEEF IS UNSAFE" because both countries have taken the same precautionary measures to address the situation and both countries had BSE.

Truth seeking consumers know this and remain convinced that USDA has taken the necessary precautionary measures to assure that our beef remains safe despite R-CALF's fear mongering lies to keep the Canadian border closed to live cattle.

Fact - R-CALF's consumer "BSE fear mongering" statements that "Canadian beef is contaminated" and "U.S.D.A. does not care about food safety" are BOLD FACED LIES.

Unsupported by nothing more than "head nodders" at blamer's conventions.


What we impose on Canada, we will live with in the event that BSE is discovered here

That is the most compelling argument to open the Canadian border to live cattle.


First you have to understand those facts before you can begin to understand what we have to gain from opening the Canadian border to Cattle that are now coming down in boxes.

The ultimate goal here is to get back to normalize trade that most R-CALFers fail to realize will add more dollars to our cattle than by simply closing the Canadian border to live cattle.

Bill Bullard made the statement in a Colorado meeting that without any trade "we would be in a very favorable position". That statement says that Bill Bullard does not realize that normal trade in the cattle/beef industry has meant more dollars in our pockets than "NO TRADE". Speaks volumes about R-CALF's ignorance on these issues.

Fact - We are in a global market. If we don't import cattle from Canada, eventually, they will absorb that portion of our export market. SO WHAT HAVE WE GAINED BY KEEPING THE BORDER CLOSED TO CANADIAN LIVE CATTLE???

Not a damn thing!

Korea flat out said they were unwilling to take our beef if we were unwilling to take Canadian cattle? Why would they say that?

BECAUSE THOSE SAME CATTLE ARE COMING DOWN IN BOXES which would suggest that we trust the Canadian packing plants to assure that their beef is BSE free more than we trust our own.

We have no leverage with Japan by suggesting that our beef is safe when we are unwilling to accept Canadian live cattle but are willing to accept Canadian boxed beef.


Lastly, opening the border to Canadian live cattle is the right thing to do. We made a trade agreement with our northern neighbors and we should honor that agreement as opposed to lying about the safety of their cattle. We trade more than just cattle with Canada.


You chose your deceptive lying path with R-CALF Nebrusker but I want no part of it because honor and integrity means more to me than being an "isolationist who is afwaid to twade" just so I can brag to my fellow blamers how I knifed the Canadian producers in the back for a net loss of not having an export market.

Now if there is anything here that I have presented that you think you can contradict with opposing facts, you just bring it you big bad Merriman cattleman.

Perhaps you'd feel more comfortable talking about my job again huh? LOL!



~SH~
 
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Anonymous

Guest
~SH~ said:
Sandhusker: "....but the USDA selling out policy (again) to the big packers infuriorates me."


Sandhusker: "US consumers and producers alike are being railroaded into protecting the big packer's interests."


COULD YOU PLEASE, JUST ONCE, PROVIDE SOME STITCH OF EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT YOUR RELENTLESS "POOR ME" PACKER BLAMING STATEMENTS????"

BACK YOUR POSITION FOR ONCE, GAWD THIS GETS OLD!

SH, you and I both know there is absolutley nothing that I could offer you, short of having Mike Johanns call a press conference on your front step, that you would accept as proof. You ignore things you don't want to hear and turn a blind eye to things you don't want to see.

I've never "blamed" the packers for anything. I've stated in plain English several times that the packers are simply promoting their agenda - an agenda which runs counter to US cattlemen's in several aspects. Yet, true to form, you have ignored these statements in favor of calling me a "packer victim" and "packer blamer".
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Ah yes - the university residence. The slang is quite quaint. Home for one more semester then perhaps out on your own?

AHP
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Just a well read and well educated person who knows far more about you than you think. You are an interesting subject and not at all formidable.

AHP
 

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