WASHINGTON — By midpoint next year, Canadian cattle haulers will be allowed to once again transport all types of cows across the border.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will propose lifting all cattle-related restrictions on imports of Canadian live cattle, Canadian Press reports.
Officials first closed the border in May 2003 when a cow originating from Alberta was found to contain mad cow disease. The Americans lifted the two-year ban on live cattle shipments earlier this year for animals under 30 months of age. But the limits on older cattle remained because the risk of infection associated with the disease is said to increase with the age of the animal.
There were more than 900,000 surplus older cattle across Canada as of last July, according to Statistics Canada.
While Canadian cattle exporters and beef industry workers are applauding the announcement, some of still taking a captious approach.
The Montana-based anti-trade group R-CALF will likely try to block the legislation. The group is currently trying to get the courts to reverse the USDA’s decision to allow young cattle across the border. In fact, the protectionist lobby group wants most beef related products from Canada restricted from entering the US.
— with files from Canadian Press
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