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Well-known member
Feb 11, 2005
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Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer has stated that he "will impose inspections fees of between $3 and $5 per head on the Canadian cattle going through his state" with cattle owners required to pay the fees (Editor's note: In a political no-brainer, the wildly popular Democrat in the deepest of red states merely had to count R-CALF noses among his electorate). Schweitzer also urged governors in Colorado, Idaho, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming to follow his lead.

His statement comes in spite (Editors note: or maybe because) of a firmly-written 9th Court of Appeals decision overturning Montana Judge Richard Cebull's temporary, R-CALF inspired injunction keeping the border closed to Canadian cattle. The court was emphatic in rebuking the judge, saying his injunction was legally and fundamentally flawed.

Schwietzer's planned inspection will be the third time the cattle are poked and probed, coming in addition to those done in Canada and at the border by the US Department of Agriculture. It would, of course, delay the movement of cattle and significantly increase the expense of bringing animals in from Canada.

With no USDA inspected slaughter facilities, Canadian animals entering the state would be feeders headed for feedlots where the inspections will be done by Montana Livestock Department veterinarians. It's a "verification" of federal inspections said Sarah Elliott, a spokesperson for Schweitzer.

Commenting about the Montana governor's decision to the Canadian press, John Masswohl, director of international relations for the Canadian Cattlemen's Association said, "This is disappointing, because this is a duplication of all the things the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are already doing"

"What we have felt all along, is that as we started to resume trade with the U.S., there would always be those people (Editor's note: R-CALF?) opposed to that and they would switch tactics and find new ways to restrict trade," he said. Indicating the beef wars are still being waged on both sides of the border, Masswohl also said, "This just reinforces our resolve to build up our beef processing industry in Canada to be less reliant on shipping live animals into the U.S."

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