The National Meat Association has filed an emergency appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in an attempt to protect its members who slaughter cattle from imminent economic collapse.

Due to the U.S. District Court in Billings' March 2, 2005, preliminary injunction barring the importation of live cattle less than 30 months of age for slaughter in United States, NMA members face serious economic injury that they feel requires emergency response.

Canadian boxed beef moves freely across the border. Canadian cattle imports, however, have been halted. This inconsistent treatment has led to reduced capacity, layoffs and plant closures at several U.S. meat packers.

"The closed businesses will not reopen. Unless the decision is reversed, U.S. jobs will be lost forever," said Jeremy Russell, NMA director of communications and government relations. "We are attempting to avert nothing less than devastating, irreparable harm to our industry."

NMA's appeal shows that its members have significant protectable interests supporting intervention and asks that the Court require R-CALF to post bond sufficient to protect NMA members from the devastating impact of the preliminary injunction as long as it remains in effect.

Source: Association Release