September 2005 - For the first time since May 2003, slaughter and feeder cattle, sheep and other animals from Canada can be imported into the United States. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull erred in issuing a preliminary injunction that stalled a government plan to resume cattle trade with Canada.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture?s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have worked closely to issue standard operating procedures to field offices, along with an updated list of products approved to move between the two countries.
The judges had overturned the injunction on July 14; however, they did not release a 54-page opinion outlining their reasons until July 25. The judges decided that Cebull had overstated the potential harm of allowing limited shipments of Canadian cattle into the United States after mad cow disease was found in Canada. Their full decision can be found at: www.ca9.uscourts.gov/.
Due to the decision, previously prohibited animals are now permitted to be imported from Canada via sealed transportation directly to slaughter or to a pre-approved feedlot and then slaughter.
To ensure adherence to these requirements, the following regulations have been provided for sheep 12 months of age or less:
Lamb carcasses and other lamb products may also be imported at this time.
The rule does not apply to the importation of breeding sheep, transit of sheep through the United States or the importation of sheep to any location except to a single feedlot or directly to slaughter.
?Before the ban took effect, sheep imports from Canada peaked at just over 100,000 head annually,? according to Peter Orwick, executive director of the American Sheep Industry Association. ?Sheep meat from New Zealand to the United States was down 30 percent in the first quarter of 2005. Therefore, industry projections continue to show a tight supply of lamb this year, as is evident by active forward-contracting of fall-delivery feeder lambs at record-high prices this spring, continuing into the summer.?
For complete details and protocols, the final rule can be viewed online at: http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20051800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2005/04-28593.htm.