R-CALF ATTEMPTS PREEMPTIVE STRIKE
Oakland, CA – The 22-page “Second Submission of Supplemental Comments” filed yesterday by R-CALF USA on the USDA-APHIS BSE; Minimal Risk Regions and Importation of Commodities proposed rule are a blatant effort by R-CALF USA to delay the reopening of the U.S. Canada border to trade in slaughter cattle, apparently on the eve of publication of a final rule by USDA.
“This R-CALF delaying tactic will hurt the very livestock producers it claims to represent,” said Rosemary Mucklow, Executive Director of National Meat Association. “The comments are designed to keep the border closed, and increase the likelihood that North American cattle production, packing and exports will move from the United States to Canada.”
“We have already seen that Canada beat the U.S. in getting into the Hong Kong market,” she added. “R-CALF is willing to accept the decline of beef ranching and feeding in the U.S. in exchange for the short-term gains of protectionism.”
The shortage of slaughter cattle from Canada is increasing the likelihood that smaller, independent packers who slaughter mostly American cattle will be forced to close their U.S. slaughterhouses and go out of business or else supply their customers with boneless beef from Canadian slaughterhouses.
R-CALF’s 22-page missive is apparently designed to intimidate USDA’s leaders and cause further delay in regulations, which provide the rational basis for resumption of livestock trade with Canada, a document that the Secretary has already described as unusually long and authoritative. The next generation of American cattle producers may pay a heavy price for this strategy of short-term gain.
National Meat Association is a non-profit trade association. Since 1946, NMA has represented meat packers and processors, equipment manufacturers and food suppliers who provide services to the meat industry. The association has members throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, Australia and Mexico.