July 2005 -- In a letter dated May 10, 2005, Rep. Denny Rehberg (Mont.-R) commended Secretary Mike Johanns on his efforts to regain export markets and to normalize livestock trade with Canada in the least economically disruptive and safest manner possible.
He also stated that he was encouraged to hear of the science-based decision to change the bluetongue protocol for exporting U.S. feeder-cattle into Canada. This common-sense approach eliminates an unfair Canadian trade barrier towards U.S. cattle.
He asked, however, ?to see an equivalent protocol for exporting U.S. sheep to Canada. American sheep producers should be allowed to ship from the same 39 low-risk states to Canada year-round without bluetongue testing or mitigations.?
He continued by stating that he is pleased that the cattle industry has paved the way for the sheep industry, since the disease and vector in the two species are essentially the same.
?The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) supports these efforts and sees this as an opportunity to build science-based animal health equivalency in our trade relations,? concluded Rehberg.
?ASI has been communicating with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Canadian Sheep Federation on the need to address this trade restriction and we are very pleased with Rep. Rehberg?s support to get this done,? adds ASI President Paul Frischknecht.