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From: TSS ()
Subject: R-CALF Re: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Overturns Preliminary Injunction
Date: July 16, 2005 at 12:11 pm PST

Date: July 14, 2005

To: R-CALF USA Members and Affiliates
From: Bill Bullard, CEO

Re: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Overturns Preliminary Injunction

Background: Yesterday the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held oral arguments in Seattle, Washington, to consider USDA’s appeal of the preliminary injunction that has prevented USDA from implementing its Final Rule that would relax our health and safety import standards against countries with BSE.

Status: Late this afternoon the Ninth Circuit issued an order overturning the preliminary injunction issued on March 2, 2005. This means the USDA’s Final Rule can go into effect immediately, and the Canadian border can be immediately reopened to live cattle under 30 months of age and beef and beef products derived from cattle under 30 months of age.

The Ninth Circuit order does not provide any explanation for why it overturned the preliminary injunction. Until we receive the written reasons for its decision, there is not much we can do about this decision. It is clear that the amicus brief filed by the NCBA and 29 state NCBA affiliates in support of overturning the preliminary injunction gave USDA the added support it needed to win this round.

This decision only affects the preliminary injunction, which temporarily blocked USDA from implementing the Final Rule until the full hearing on the merits of R-CALF USA’s lawsuit can be heard.

The full hearing on the merits of R-CALF USA’s lawsuit is scheduled for July 27, 2005. R-CALF USA will now focus on preparing for this hearing.

Action: Below is the statement we have issued to the media today. Again, until we receive the written opinion from the Ninth Circuit describing its reasons for why it overturned the preliminary injunction, there isn’t much more that can be said.

“We are disappointed in today’s ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The 9th Circuit gave no reasons for their action, so there isn’t much we can do until we see those reasons.

“R-CALF USA remains confident that USDA’s Final Rule was not justified, and that USDA did not provide sufficient justification for overturning a longstanding policy that protected both the U.S. cattle herd and U.S. consumers from the introduction of BSE.

“USDA’s Final Rule is based merely on a reinterpretation of existing science that has been around for years. USDA is motivated by political considerations of wanting to resume trade with Canada.

“R-CALF is confident that when we have a full hearing on the merits of the case, scheduled for July 27 in Billings, Mont., we will demonstrate to the U.S. District Court that USDA’s actions are premature and unjustified.

“This decision makes Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) all the more important so consumers will know where their beef comes from.”

We will provide you with more information as soon as possible. Remember, R-CALF USA has successfully protected the U.S. cattle herd from the introduction of BSE from BSE-affected countries for the past 15 months. The following is what you have already accomplished:

Beginning April, 2004, R-CALF USA successfully obtained a temporary restraining order that stopped USDA from allowing unauthorized imports of ground beef, tongues, bone-in beef and other products from BSE affected countries into the United States.

R-CALF USA prevented USDA from allowing live cattle and any additional beef products from countries with BSE into the U.S. during the 8-month period between May 2004 and January 2005, which is when the Final Rule was issued.

R-CALF USA’s court action caused USDA to suspend the portion of the Final Rule that would have allowed Canadian beef from cattle over 30 months of age into the United States.

The current preliminary injunction, which has been in effect until today, has protected our herds for the 4-month period beginning on March 2, 2005.

Today’s decision is the first set-back in over 15 months of successful actions by R-CALF USA to ensure that adequate health and safety standards are applied to imported beef and cattle. And, this is only a set-back.

We will aggressively represent the interests of independent cattle producers in the upcoming, July 27, 2005 hearing on the full merits of our lawsuit.

Thanks to all of you for your tremendous support. We’ll stay in touch.

This page was last edited Friday July 15, 2005 .


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