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Montana wants independent inspection

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Montana wants independent inspection of Canadian cattle

Montana's governor says his state will impose inspections fees of between $3 and $5 per head on the Canadian cattle going through his state.

The announcement is the latest impediment put in the way of the resumption of shipments of live Canadian cattle to the U.S. in more than two years.

Governor Brian Schweitzer says all Canadian cattle passing through Montana will require an examination by a veterinarian, to determine whether they are younger than 30 months, not pregnant and have the 'CAN' brand.

Owners of the cattle will be required to pay the cost of the inspections.

The Canadian Cattlemen's Association is vowing to fight the inspections, saying the information is already available. "It would be completely unjustified for them pay for it twice," said Rob McNabb, assistant manager of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association.

"In order to complete certification requirements to export Canadian cattle, all of these things are done and are on the certificate. For the state to duplicate it would be redundant."

Ranchers celebrate border reopening

Miles Anderson and Jay Fitzpatrick in April. (Photo courtesy Miles Anderson)

The Montana announcement came as Canadian cattle began to move south and Canadian ranchers began to think things were getting back to normal.

Two long-haired Saskatchewan men celebrated by having their heads shorn. They had pledged for more than a year to forgo haircuts as long as the border remained closed.

"It kind of feels like you're free again," Fir Mountain rancher Miles Anderson said, bidding his long locks farewell.

Miles Anderson gets his haircut (CBC photo: Brooks DeCillia)

The Montana governor said he will urge his counterparts in Colorado, Idaho, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington State and Wyoming to follow his state's actions.

Up until this week, a Montana-based ranchers' lobby group had fought hard in court to put a permanent ban on Canadian cattle.

The first shipments of live Canadian cattle crossed the border earlier this week, more than two years after a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease, was discovered in northern Alberta.

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Canadians could bring him to civil court or whatever it is for international matters, he could be screwing himself in the long run and the state. He would just rather see the American famers of his state thrive then the Canadian famers...

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Growing up on a cattle farm myself, I know how devastating disease can be to the herd and the farmer but I think these inspections are superfluous. Not only have the cattle been examined by Canadian vets before the trip but the meat is tested again before it goes to market. I'm with Kratos, Canadian ranchers should file a civil suit to get their money back.

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