NMA PRESENTS ARGUMENTS IN BORDER LITIGATION
OAKLAND, CA – National Meat Association (NMA) presented arguments to a three-judge 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel in Seattle today in favor of its being made an Intervenor in R-CALF v. USDA. NMA hopes its appeal will be granted and that the Court will move quickly to reverse the Montana decision that has so seriously and wrongly disrupted trade.
This litigation has caused great harm to the entire North American livestock market. Closing the border to the normal flow of trade in healthy live cattle has raised beef prices for consumers. It has also inflicted great harm on small, medium-sized and even large American beef packers who have been unable to obtain enough livestock to maintain operating efficiencies. These companies have been forced to compete with boxed beef from Canada where there is a surplus of livestock. Among the worst hurt are packinghouse employees who rely on these jobs to feed their families.
USDA has, with strong industry support, implemented regulations to protect the food supply. It instituted and enhanced a surveillance system designed to find BSE-infected livestock in the U.S. herd. Four hundred thousand cattle have been tested in the last year. Finally, USDA has promulgated comprehensive regulations to reestablish controlled trade between the U.S. and Canada. R-CALF’s lawsuit has thwarted this rule’s implementation for the short-term benefit of higher U.S. livestock prices.
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.