The American Meat Institute (AMI), together with six other organizations, submitted an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) appeal of a preliminary injunction against a rule to expand trade in beef and cattle with Canada. The preliminary injunction was granted March 2nd by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Cebull in Billings, Montana at the request of Ranchers-Cattlemen Legal Action Fund (R-CALF).

"AMI has argued in and out of court that no scientific justification exists for continuing the ban on Canadian cattle and beef and that the U.S. beef industry is being harmed economically by the ban -- harm that will intensify if the protracted ban remains in place," said AMI president J. Patrick Boyle. "The U.S. District Court denied members of the meat industry to be heard. Instead, the Court accepted facts in R-CALF's pleadings on faith, when 'reasonable doubt' would have been appropriate given the short-term economic benefits R-CALF's members stand to gain from a closed border. We believe that if the U.S. Court of Appeals fully scrutinizes the facts in this case and USDA's extensive rulemaking record, it will ultimately conclude that the preliminary injunction should be overturned."

The brief was filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Joining AMI as amici are the North American Meat Processors, Southwestern Meat Association, Eastern Meat Packers Association, American Association of Meat Processors, National Restaurant Association, and United Food and Commercial Workers.

In the brief, AMI and the other "amici" argued that the District Court abused its discretion by mandating continued closure of the border to Canadian cattle and beef products. U.S. and international law require open borders unless closure is necessary to prevent introduction of a livestock disease, the brief noted, and the scientific evidence makes clear that continued closure of the border is unnecessary.

Source: Association Release