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B.C. politician says Vancouver port should ban U.S. cattle

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- B.C.'s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries has told the Feds he wants the U.S. banned fr...

VANCOUVER, B.C. — B.C.’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries has told the Feds he wants the U.S. banned from shipping live cattle from Hawaii to the continental U.S. through Vancouver.

The strong comments were made following the decision of a U.S. judge to grant an injunction against the re-opening of the U.S. border to Canadian cattle, which was supposed to have taken place today.

"I believe we need to send a strong message to the United States that opposition to the border opening is not based on science or good economics but rather on domestic trade protectionism," van Dongen wrote in a strongly worded letter to Andy Mitchell, federal minister of agriculture responsible for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and David Peterson, minister for international trade. "Canadian beef is safe and does not present a health risk to Americans as confirmed by both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service. I am still confident reason will prevail, but urge Canada to stop the U.S. trans-shipments through Vancouver until that happens."

About 11,000 live cattle from Hawaii are shipped through the Port of Vancouver each year, where they are offloaded for a 15-day rest period.

"It is difficult to explain the fairness of this when the U.S. earlier wouldn’t even let Canadian breeding cattle move through the U.S. to Mexico," van Dongen said.

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