MARCH 20, 2005 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
R-CALF HEAD WARNS OF RELAXED IMPORT RESTRICTIONS
Harrison, NE---R-CALF USA founder, Leo McDonnell, told cattlemen here
Saturday that the USDA is moving toward making the United States the
"dumping ground for food products that other countries have banned."
McDonnell also warned that US cattle producers could be devastated if
proposed free trade agreements are implemented. "We would be facing
trade with every beef-exporting nation in the world---but none with
McDonnell spoke at a fund-raiser for R-Calf and its newly-formed affiliate,
Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON). Both groups oppose the USDA's
efforts to relax import restrictions that would allow cattle from the
BSE-infected Canadian herd to enter the United States. The Montana-based
R-Calf (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund) was granted an injunction
against the USDA's plan to open the Canadian border by the a US District
Court earlier this month.
McDonnell also addressed efforts to link the reopening of the Canadian
with resumption in exports to Japan. Japan closed its border to US beef
after a single animal imported from Canada to the US was found with
"Canada's had two new cases of BSE in just the past three months,"
said. "If we import Canadian cattle now, how could that possibly
Japan to want to import ours? It makes no sense."
The event in Harrison was hosted by Gray's Black Angus Cattle and raised
over five thousand dollars for the two cattle producer advocacy groups.
Ranchers lined up to join the organizations after McDonnell and ICON
members spoke on US trade policy, as well as country-of-origin labeling
American-raised beef, which they strongly support.
Contact Al Davis, 458-2220