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U.S. officials going to appeal injunction

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Manitoba_Rancher

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WASHINGTON (CP) - U.S. officials said Friday they don't now long it will take before an appeals court hears their request to resume the Canadian cattle trade.

"There's just no rule you can go by," said U.S. Justice Department spokesman Charles Miller. "It's really in the judge's hands. We don't know what the time frame would be." "We might request that it be expedited."

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has said the United States could move "very quickly" to resume imports if the appeal is successful.

Officials filed the appeal Thursday. They want the U.S. Court of Appeals to overturn a temporary injunction imposed earlier this month by Montana federal judge Richard Cebull.

Cebull sided with a protectionist U.S. ranchers' group, R-CALF U.S.A., which is suing the U.S. government over its plans to drop the cattle ban imposed almost two years ago.

R-CALF claims Canadian cattle is unsafe, especially after the last two cases of mad cow discovered in January.

Cebull has set a July 27 hearing on whether the temporary ban should become permanent.

But a successful appeal by U.S. officials could reopen the border in the meantime.



© The Canadian Press, 2005
 
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