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NCBA's 11 point directive

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Bill

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NCBA's Progress on Members' 11 Point Directive
(updated July 13, 2005)

Point 1: Prohibit the importation of cattle and beef products from cattle more than 30 months of age.

Status: On February 9, 2005, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) delayed the effective date for allowing imports of meat from animals 30 months and over. The initial Minimal Risk Rule published by USDA included importation of beef from animals older than 30 months. NCBA argued that while all beef is safe from BSE, permitting beef from "over 30 month" animals but not allowing animals "over 30 months" of age would put the U.S. industry at an undue economic disadvantage.

Bottom line: Done. The rule only would permit animals younger than 30 months of age and beef from this age category, the lowest risk category for BSE based on science.

Point 2: Assurance that all Canadian firewalls to prevent BSE - specifically adherence to their feed ban - are functioning properly.

Status: NCBA's producer-member trade delegation and the USDA inspection team (which includes feed ban technical experts from the Food and Drug Administration), both concluded Canada's feed ban firewalls are equivalent to the United States and are functioning properly.

Analysis: NCBA sent a delegation of producers to Alberta, Canada, January, 17-20, 2005, to visually assess and report on Canada's feed ban compliance. The team concluded: "The Canadian feed industry appears to be in compliance with its feed ban, based on visual inspection and multiple annual audit reports. The majority of compliance violations involved record keeping, specifically lack of proper notices on invoices." Furthermore, they concluded, "Given the age of the four BSE-positive cattle, there is no reason to believe an amplification risk exists today in the Canadian feed and rendering industries."

USDA sent a team of technical experts to Canada on January 24, 2005, to "do an in-depth assessment on Canada's ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban and their feed ban inspection program." USDA's inspection team report stated that "Canada has a robust inspection program, overall compliance with the feed ban is good and the feed ban is reducing the risk of transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in the Canadian cattle population." The team "found that compliance by feed mills and rendering facilities in Canada to their feed ban regulations is good and, just like the United States, Canada is continually looking for ways to make it even better." Upon review of the complete technical team report, USDA concluded, "the animal and public health measures that Canada has in place to prevent BSE, combined with existing U.S. domestic safeguards and additional safeguards provided in the final rule, provide the utmost protections to U.S. consumers and livestock."

Bottomline: Done. Neither NCBA's trade delegation nor USDA's technical team unearthed any evidence after traveling to Canada that revealed Canada was not complying with its feed ban.

Point 3: Remove animal health-related barriers for shipping cattle to Canada, especially with regard to anaplasmosis and bluetongue.

Status: Artificial barriers to feeder cattle have been removed and the final publication of data associated with breeding stock is now in progress. No other known issues have been identified at this time that will interrupt the final rule on breeding cattle from occurring this year.

Analysis: For more than a decade, NCBA has engaged in efforts to eliminate Canada's bluetongue and anaplasmosis-based restrictions for importing feeder and breeding cattle from the United States. Some significant progress was made in the late 1990s, with the establishment of the Northwest Pilot Project. This trade agreement waived specific animal-health testing requirements, making cross-border shipment of live cattle easier for U.S. cattle producers. Montana and Washington were the first states approved under the pilot project, and producers saw significant benefits. The project was later expanded to include feeder cattle from Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho and North Dakota.

Canada recently announced that there will be no restrictions on the importation of feeder cattle from any U.S. states except Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, South Carolina and Texas. Cattle from these states may still be exported to Canada, but must first be tested for bluetongue and anaplasmosis.

Canada has not yet moved far enough toward complete elimination of these restrictions. NCBA believes that any live cattle trade restrictions based upon bluetongue have been proven to be inappropriate. NCBA also feels that Canada needs to move more rapidly toward removal of anaplasmosis from its list of reportable foreign animal diseases. Otherwise, this disease will remain an impediment to full, year-round movement of all classes of cattle to Canada.

Bottom Line: Feeder cattle - Done. Breeding stock - See status.

Point 4: Movement of Canadian cattle into the U.S. must be managed to minimize market disruptions.

Status: Once legal issues are resolved, Canadian fed and feeder cattle coming into the U.S. face complex and new regulations ranging from age verification to the requirements for sealing trucks. Senior officials at USDA have been quoted on several occasions that these types of delays will likely slow U.S. imports of Canadian feeder cattle.

Analysis: APHIS has placed eight files on the "BSE Hot Issues" section of their web site to assist with the implementation of the Minimal-Risk Region Rule. Some of the files including specific instruction on the overall importation requirements for Minimal Risk Regions and the importation of commodities from Canada, Importation of Bovines from Canada for feeding, veterinarian instructions on the importation of live animals, protocol for the importation of cattle for immediate slaughter and protocol related to other species for import from Canada.

The reports will require additional clarification in a number of key areas.

Bottom Line: Done. Increasingly for the remainder of 2005 and as a result of the R-CALF lawsuit in Billings, it looks like it won't matter much whether fed cattle will be allowed to cross the border or not as Canada's increase in slaughter capacity will allow the product to cross the border in a box instead of on the hoof. Another interesting by-product of this situation has been that Canadians are developing new patterns of backgrounding their inventory, spreading it out (reducing seasonality), which allows their domestic industry to process more cattle and better utilize existing capacity. Canadian packing capacity will likely exceed 90,000 head per week, nearing the point where the U.S. is a better outlet for boxed than live product. Equally, U.S. plants have experienced dramatic losses in the Pacific Northwest and other regions that depended on the seasonality of the Canadian market to maintain live animal throughput.

In addition to the significant potential for long-term structural troubles the current situation invites, NCBA remains genuinely concerned that R-CALF'S actions could facilitate a normalization of fed cattle and feeder cattle trade with Canada -- right on top of 2005 fall calf marketings in the U.S.

Point 5: Fed cattle imported for immediate slaughter must be certified to be less than 30 months of age at time of importation.

Status: Rules and requirements released on February 22, 2005 state that cattle must be under 30 months of age to be eligible for export to the United States. These same rules and requirements call for age verification and identification on cattle moving direct to slaughter. Official government documentation by a certified veterinarian will be required.

Analysis: The age documentation verification program will require a high level of detail to protect the integrity of the United States domestic herd. The detailed documentation required will affect the number of cattle eligible for export to the United States.

Bottom Line: Done.

Point 6: Ban the use of fetal bovine serum from heifers imported for immediate slaughter.

Status: Fetuses found in imported Canadian heifers at slaughter will be treated as an "illegal import" meaning it must be destroyed and disposed of by incineration, landfill, or digester. This announcement was made during a conference call held by USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) with industry stakeholders on February 22, 2005.

Analysis: All imported Canadian animals will need to be certified they are not pregnant; a certificate saying they are spayed is one way to certify they are not pregnant. APHIS stated that if a pregnant heifer did make its way into the country, the fetus would be treated as an "illegal import," meaning it must be destroyed and disposed of by incineration, landfill, or digester.

Bottom Line: Done - The use of fetal bovine serum from imported heifers is banned.

Point 7: USDA grades and stamps are not allowed on any imported product.

Status: U.S. grade stamps can only be used on imported carcasses eligible for the U.S. grade and may not be used on imported boxed beef. Currently there is, virtually no beef products imported into the U.S. as carcasses. Instead they are imported as boxed-beef, therefore making them ineligible for the U.S. grade stamp under the current rule.

Analysis: However, industry and government sources say preventing imported beef and lamb from receiving a USDA grade would violate national treatment rules under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Article 3.1 states that imported products of a WTO member "shall be accorded treatment no less favorable than that accorded to like products of national origin in respect of all laws, regulations."

Bottom Line: Done. Existing law prohibited the activity sought by the resolution. NCBA is pushing USDA to fully consider all possible options toward resolution of producer concerns over the use of the USDA Grade Stamp on imported meat and animals.

Point 8: Feeder cattle must be branded with a "CAN", individually identified with an ear tag, certified to be less than 30 months of age at time of slaughter, shipped in sealed trucks from the border directly to an approved feedlot and moved directly in sealed trucks to slaughter.

Status: As stated in the rules released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on February 22, 2005, all animals are required to be branded with a "CAN", and removal of official Canadian ear tags is prohibited (tags are required by Canadian law). Feeder cattle must be shipped in sealed trucks and the seal must be removed by officials at the final destination. Movement to slaughter is also in sealed trucks. Canadian cattle may not be shipped with non-Canadian cattle from the feedyard to slaughter. Age determination prior to shipment will require a third party to validate age, and can be made using dentition or valid documentation.

Analysis: USDA responded to the voice of NCBA's members by including this language in the rules released on Feb. 22 for re-establishing live cattle trade with Canada.

Bottom Line: Done.

Point 9: Feeder heifers imported into the United States from Canada must be spayed.

Status: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires that all animals coming to the U.S. be certified that they are not pregnant. That certification can be done by spaying or by certification by a veterinarian that the animal is open (not pregnant). The USDA does not require spaying of heifers for import as feeders. However, if a calf is born to an imported heifer it is an illegal import and falls under the same criteria as fetal serum, requiring that the calf must be destroyed.

Analysis: NCBA was successful in working with USDA to create a requirement that equals the requirements of this directive.

Bottom Line: Done.

Point 10: USDA must work with our primary trading partners to ensure that expanded export access for U.S. beef is not in any way jeopardized by expanded importation of cattle and beef from Canada.

Status: No countries have indicated that the U.S. decision to expand trade with Canada, as defined by the March 7 rule, would negatively affect U.S. export opportunities. The U.S. has received assurances that minimal risk status for Canada won't negatively affect our ability to regain access to export markets.

Analysis: Press interviews with Japanese officials revealed this: "When R-CALF points to the risk of Canadian beef, you are increasing Japanese consumers' anxiety for U.S. beef, because we believe the risk of beef from both countries is similar. And if you point to the risk of Canadian cattle, you are ignoring the function of removing SRMs (specified risk materials) as the internationally accepted food safety measure and are also increasing Japanese consumers' anxiety for U.S. beef."

Bottom Line: Done.

Point 11: The Administration must reach an agreement to re-establish beef and beef byproduct trade with Japan, South Korea, and Mexico, and apply economic sanctions if necessary.

Status: The U.S. can ship beef into Mexico under the same standards of permit that we currently allow Canadian boxed beef to enter the U.S. In Japan, progress came recently when the expert panel under the government's Food Safety Commission concluded that exempting cows 20 months of age or younger from testing will not significantly increase health risks for consumers. This action reverses Japan's testing criteria that called for 100 percent testing for BSE. Talks with Korean officials have been very positive and have moved along at a faster pace than expected.

Analysis: The president, secretary of Agriculture, secretary of State and other cabinet officials and senior administration staff are working to reopen these key Asian markets to U.S. beef.

Bottom Line: NCBA continues to urge the Administration to keep a full court press across all aspects of government. There are numerous accounts that the discussions are literally at the highest level of government. NCBA is working aggressively to regain Japan, South Korea, and all other global markets that remain closed at this time
 

the chief

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Bill, are you an NCBA member?

Since you live in Canada, I assume you might not be. I realize that your producers are really being hurt up there because the packers are really putting the screws to you guys. Keep in mind, the packers were doing the exact same thing to US producers before BSE. So that is why most producers are reluctant to just "open the border to anybody and everybody."

What NCBA is saying is "everything is fine. Let's go back to the way it was." Well, everything is NOT fine. And the way it was was breaking the bank on a lot of producers.
 

Beefman

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Chief: "I realize that your producers are really being hurt up there because the packers are really putting the screws to you guys."

Really..... Who said Canadian product was unsafe? Who filed suit to keep the border closed?

Chief: "Keep in mind, the packers were doing the exact same thing to US producers before BSE."

That's right. I'm sure you have a list of cattle feeders that've sold live cattle in the past 3 yrs that'd agree with you. If packers actually could manipulate markets, which they can't, they've obviously done of very poor job of doing so in the past 3 yrs.

The Chief: "What NCBA is saying is "everything is fine. Let's go back to the way it was."

The NCBA is not the one playing "The Way We Were" record. If it wasn't for the constant deflections, they'd concentrate their efforts on our REAL competition, pork,poulty and expanding exports.

Beefman
 

Bill

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the chief said:
Bill, are you an NCBA member?

Since you live in Canada, I assume you might not be. I realize that your producers are really being hurt up there because the packers are really putting the screws to you guys. Keep in mind, the packers were doing the exact same thing to US producers before BSE. So that is why most producers are reluctant to just "open the border to anybody and everybody."

What NCBA is saying is "everything is fine. Let's go back to the way it was." Well, everything is NOT fine. And the way it was was breaking the bank on a lot of producers.
The packers aren't the ones going to court on the 27th to try get the border closure extended to Canadian boxed beef.
 
A

Anonymous

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Chief: "I realize that your producers are really being hurt up there because the packers are really putting the screws to you guys. Keep in mind, the packers were doing the exact same thing to US producers before BSE. So that is why most producers are reluctant to just "open the border to anybody and everybody."

Yup, that's what they said in Pickett vs. ibp too and how did that turn out?

The judge's instructions to the jury was that the jury had to agree that ibp lacked a legitimate business reason for using captive supplies. HOW THE JURY EVER REACHED THEIR DECISION WHEN THE PLAINTIFFS TESTIFIED TO USING FORWARD CONTRACTS (75% of captive supplies) AND THE PLAINTIFFS AGREED THAT IBP HAD A LEGITIMATE BUSINESS FOR USING CAPTIVE SUPPLIES, will always remain a mystery.

According to the financial records submitted into court, ibp's profits for this period of "alleged" market manipulation amounted to $26 per head.

LIONS, TIGERS, AND BEARS, OH MY!!!!

How can producers survive against such blatant market manipulation?

Quite a contrast from the $400 per head profits that Mr. Perjury was telling us about.


Packer blamers............sheeeeesh!

What a waste of oxygen!


Chief: "What NCBA is saying is "everything is fine. Let's go back to the way it was." Well, everything is NOT fine. And the way it was was breaking the bank on a lot of producers."

You have no clue what affects cattle prices do you?

Explain this "CHIEF", if stopping Canadian imports is the reason for higher cattle prices, WHY DID FAT CATTLE PRICES CONTINUE TO RALLY AFTER CANADIAN BOXED BEEF IMPORTS RESUMED???? Hmmmm???

CANADIAN BOXED BEEF IMPORTS IS ALMOST HALF OF CANADA'S NORMAL EXPORTS TO THE U.S.

HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THAT "CHIEF"?????

You can't!

That fact doesn't quite jive with what you WANT TO BELIEVE, does it?

Where were fat cattle prices when we still had our export markets hmmmmmm????

TRY $116!

Where are they now????

You packer blamers are so full of blame that you cannot even see the most obvious facts about cattle prices.

Yes, let's go back to the way things were with NORMALIZED TRADE so we can get back to that additional $40 per head that we had when we had normalized trade with Japan and South Korea instead of R-CULT muddying the waters by lying about the safety of Canadian beef.

It should be mandatory that every packer blamer take a course in market fundamentals so they could be introduced to their own ignorance.


~SH~
 

the chief

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Didn't you hear me say "BEFORE BSE"? What were cattle prices during the 90's when US herds were dwindling?
Oh, that's right, you forgot. You have ENJOYED these high prices!

How soon we forget how badly producers were treated.
That's all.
 
A

Anonymous

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What's your point Chief?

If the packers were making all this money, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN REVEALED IN COURT.

Ah, another conspiracy theory right? HIDE THE MONEY? PACKERGATE?


Dwindling herds? TRY INCREASED PRODUCTION! TRY POULTRY AND PORK KICKING OUR BUTTS!

What were carcass weights then?

Add 40 pounds to every carcass and see what that does to production.

Like I said, it should be mandatory that every packer blamer take a course in cattle market fundamentals so they could learn about what affects cattle prices.

DID YOU EVER STOP TO CONSIDER PORK AND POULTRY PRICES?????


Nah, "BWAME DA PACKAH"!



~SH~
 

packerland

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the chief said:
Didn't you hear me say "BEFORE BSE"? What were cattle prices during the 90's when US herds were dwindling?
Oh, that's right, you forgot. You have ENJOYED these high prices!

How soon we forget how badly producers were treated.
That's all.

Note to producer. Packer has been getting the fecal matter beaten out of him by retailers under pressure by Wally World (Wal-Mart) since about 1998. Keep it up with these BS artificial trade barriers and you'll rapidly find that all the packers have shut up shop and gone away and you'll have no place to send your stock. R-CALF truly needs to die, and quickly before they slaughter the US beef industry entirely. Make no mistake, we won't sustain losses forever and your ass WILL be sucking wind with no one to vend to. We go buh-bye, feeders go buh-bye and you can go back to being a dirt farmer. Hope you like that new Chevy Duramax, it's gonna need to last you a long time.
 

HAY MAKER

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packerland said:
the chief said:
Didn't you hear me say "BEFORE BSE"? What were cattle prices during the 90's when US herds were dwindling?
Oh, that's right, you forgot. You have ENJOYED these high prices!

How soon we forget how badly producers were treated.
That's all.

Note to producer. Packer has been getting the fecal matter beaten out of him by retailers under pressure by Wally World (Wal-Mart) since about 1998. Keep it up with these BS artificial trade barriers and you'll rapidly find that all the packers have shut up shop and gone away and you'll have no place to send your stock. R-CALF truly needs to die, and quickly before they slaughter the US beef industry entirely. Make no mistake, we won't sustain losses forever and your ass WILL be sucking wind with no one to vend to. We go buh-bye, feeders go buh-bye and you can go back to being a dirt farmer. Hope you like that new Chevy Duramax, it's gonna need to last you a long time.


Good bye and dont come back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!..........good luck
 

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