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Statement By Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns Regarding The Temporary Injunction Issued By The U.S. District Court For The District Of Montana Regarding USDA's Minimal-Risk Rule
March 2, 2005
"I am very disappointed in today's ruling by the court to temporarily delay the implementation of USDA's minimal-risk rule, which would re-establish trade with Canada for live cattle under 30 months of age.
"USDA remains confident that the requirements of the minimal-risk rule, in combination with the animal and public health measures already in place in the United States and Canada, provide the utmost protection to both U.S. consumers and livestock. We also remain fully confident in the underlying risk assessment, developed in accordance with the OIE guidelines, which determined Canada to be a minimal risk region.
"Today's ruling is not a reflection on the substance of the minimal-risk rule, but rather a procedural delay while the judge considers the merits of the case. We continue to believe that international trade in beef, founded on science-based regulations, should be re-established in an expeditious manner."