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Judge Asks for Revisit of Older Cattle Rules

15 July 2008

US - A federal judge refused to stop some Canadian beef imports but agreed with lawyers for cattle, consumer and health interests that the U.S. government should revisit rules that protect against the threat of mad cow disease.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Piersol granted in part a preliminary injunction sought by several groups that filed a lawsuit in federal court in South Dakota, according to an opinion and order, writes Carson Walker for the Star Tribune.

They want the judge to suspend a U.S. Department of Agriculture rule that went into effect Nov. 19 allowing Canadian cattle more than 30 months old into the United States.

According to Mr Walker, lawyers for the plaintiffs argued the change exposes consumers to a fatal disease linked to eating meat contaminated with bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, increases the risk that U.S. cattle would be infected with the disease, and could harm the U.S. cattle market.

But a government lawyer argued in court documents and at a hearing in February that rules and changes in the industry adequately protect American animals, people and markets, and there's no way to get 100 percent compliance with any rule.

  • View the Star Tribune story by clicking here.
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