OAKLAND, CA The National Meat Association today asked the United States District Court in Billings, Montana to grant it intervenor status in the lawsuit R-CALF v. USDA. The more than 500 companies that NMA represents include meat packers and processors, equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

NMA is concerned that the survival of the U.S. beef slaughter industry is at serious risk, because of the inability of facilities to maintain efficient slaughter levels. With the U.S.-Canada border closed to all imports of cattle, sufficient livestock numbers are not available to many U.S. slaughterhouses. 

R-CALF apparently intends to continue and extend the current litigation that is keeping the Canadian border closed to import of live cattle. However, NMA members are critically dependent on purchasing healthy animals from Canada. The current closure has resulted in economic hardship, cutbacks in employment and production, and shutdown of at least one U.S. beef slaughter facility. 

R-CALF is trying to keep the border closed to Canadian cattle and the economic aftermath of this case could so negatively impact our members that it requires our intervention. If the situation continues as it is, it will cause irreparable harm to the industry, NMA Executive Director Rosemary Mucklow said.

NMA advocates the earliest possible reopening of the U.S. Canada border to imports of healthy slaughter cattle, believing that this is beneficial both to consumers and the firms that slaughter and process cattle. Intervenor status will provide NMA the opportunity to participate if R-CALF uses the current litigation to unduly delay resumption of trade. 

R-CALF, as plaintiff, is to receive five days notice of the publication of a final rule, and receives updates from USDA on the status of rulemaking every 45 days. NMA is requesting, through this intervention, the same information as is provided to the plaintiffs.

National Meat Association is a non-profit industry association. Since 1946, NMA has represented meat packers and processors, equipment manufacturers and food suppliers who provide services to the meat industry.


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Jeremy Russell
National Meat Association
(510) 763-1533
[email protected]

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