I'm a R-CALF member. Here's the way I see it;
Prior to May 23, 2003, the USDA had a zero tolerance policy towads BSE. They adopted this policy to protect the health of our consumers and our herd. If a country reported it, we shut the border to them and there was no talk about reopening. On May 23, 2003, Canada reported they had BSE and we closed the border to them per our policy. HOWEVER, two days later on May 25, they issued a release stating a desire to reopen the border. They had never done this with any other country. Suddenly, the Canada situation had changed from a HEALTH issue to an ECONOMIC issue. I have my theories why, but that is another story than what you're looking for.
R-CALF smelled a rat, hollered "foul" and the USDA was caught with their hand in the cookie jar. They came up with a lot of reasons to open the border - even trying to skirt their own rules to do so, but they were and are in a sticky mess (Oh, what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive).
R-CALF then forced their hand in court. R-CALF presented their side, USDA presented theirs, and the Judge ruled for R-CALF. Some on this board like to call R-CALF liars, but their "lies" seem to of held up in court. Either they purgered themselves or they're onto someting.
Summary: The direct reason the border is closed is because of a court ruling. Judge Cebull could of let it open had he ruled differently. The indirect reason the border is closed is because the USDA, for whatever reason, tried to use bull-s### and the back door to open it, and R-CALF was watching. This is a mess the USDA brought on themselves.
What do I thnk we can do about it? Everybody is argueing and speculating about who has BSE and to what degree. I see no other way to cut thru all this than to test all we can so everybody KNOWS. You can't fix a problem until you know what it is.