The USDA's over-30-month rule that was enacted Nov. 19 allows Canadian cattle born before March 1, 1999 and beef from any aged animal to be imported into the U.S. R-Calf USA has filed on behalf of 11 plaintiffs for a preliminary injunction from the District of South Dakota, Northern Division Court to suspend the OTM Rule.
"R-CALF asserts there is a risk of great harm if the OTM Rule is allowed to stand," said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard. "There's the risk the OTM Rule could cause billions of dollars of damage to the U.S. beef market, risk of BSE infection of the U.S. cattle herd, as well as a risk to consumers."
According to R-Calf, since USDA prevalence estimates in 2004 BSE in Canada has increased 10 times; this contradicts statements to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that the rate of BSE was decreasing.
"We are confident we can show the court that an injunction is appropriate to prevent ongoing and threatened irreparable harm to all of the plaintiffs until the court can thoroughly review the merits of our case," Bullard says.
Feb. 19 or Feb. 20 have been suggested as dates for a hearing on the preliminary injunction by attorneys for both sides.