“Open border stirs opinions: U.S. ranchers worry about safety, prices as Canadians look to revive industry,” by Peter Harriman, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, 6 February 2005.
Young Canadian cattle will begin streaming back into the United States next month, and for many ranchers and dairy farmers, it’s either dangerous or about time.
On one side of the fence are U.S. ag operators and politicians who fear as many as 2 million Canadian cattle will increase the possibility of mad cow disease, knock the bottom out of livestock prices here and ruin the beef export market. The U.S. market already took one staggering hit after an imported cow from Canada was confirmed to have mad cow disease in December 2003.
Across the border, ag operators say the United States is using the fact that mad cow was discovered in Canadian beef to create an artificial trade barrier that has devastated Canada’s beef producers and damaged its dairy industry.
Of course. As one who remembers the fast-food protests because they were caught selling, horror of horrors, Australian beef, how is this surprising?
What was once widespread trust and openness between the countries’ livestock industries has hardened into disdainful stereotypes. And both sides have become entrenched in their positions, says Rick McRonald, executive director of the Canadian Livestock Genetics Association.
Bah-humbug. Under Governor Janklow we blockaded Canada. Several times. Begger-thy-neighborism is not new in this state.
“To allow this tidal wave of animals into the U.S. is going to be disastrous to South Dakota livestock producers,” says Johnson, citing a widely used USDA estimate that 2 million Canadian cattle are ready to come to the U.S. in the next year. “It potentially undermines consumer confidence in the consumption of beef, despite the fact the U.S. has the safest, highest quality beef in the world.”
Logic and reason
“To say the beef isn’t safe is a real problem for us,” Davis says. “We raise cattle the same way Americans do. We follow the same rules. … But the U.S. is only one positive test from being the same as us. It’s a very risky game to play,” he says of attempts to differentiate between the safety of U.S. and Canadian beef.
are powerless against agriwelfare infantilism.
Let’s hope the Congressional leadership and President Bush stand against this.