Volume 3 Issue 12 • November 22, 2010

In This Issue ...


CCA helps prepare strong case for 2nd WTO COOL hearing

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) continues to assist the Government of Canada legal team as the second round of oral hearings of the COOL WTO Dispute Settlement Panel draws near.

Canfax Market BriefsSince the first hearing in September, Canada has submitted nearly 40 pages of responses to the Dispute Panel’s questions and a further 50 pages of rebuttals to U.S. arguments. These written submissions will form the basis of the second round of oral hearings set for November 30 through December 1 in Geneva, Switzerland.

During the first hearing, the U.S. defense said COOL was constructed only to inform consumers and has no negative impact. The U.S. has thus far made little attempt to contradict Canada’s economic arguments to the contrary.

The CCA has assisted Canada’s legal team in the preparation of these submissions and believes they present a very strong case against COOL. The CCA will attend the upcoming oral hearing as stakeholder advisers. Our participation to date has been essential to ensuring that the Canadian government legal team is well prepared with industry evidence and corporate memory. 

The second oral hearing will be followed by further written submissions through February. A final panel report is scheduled for July 2011, most likely followed by an appeal taking another year.

This time-intensive effort is only possible with the valuable provincial check-off dollars provided by producers through their provincial cattle organizations as members of the CCA.


Maritime Beef Council working on way forward for industry

A Maritime Beef Council strategy session took place in Memramcook, New Brunswick on November 8 and 9. This meeting brought together producers and other cattle industry people from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. A similar session was held in Memramcook back in 2005. The point of the November session was to take stock and look ahead.

Ryder Lee of the CCA was at the meeting to present the national outlook and to help discussions along. Certainly the majority of the challenges facing the Maritime beef industry are echoed in other regions of Canada and indeed North America: adjusting to a lower valued U.S. dollar, achieving goals with limited industry dollars, a reduced and shrinking cow herd, aging producers and a lack of renewal in the industry.

The session wrapped with the group agreeing on a number of goals. These include working together as a Maritime group to improve the product produced in the area, improve the influence the groups can have on behalf of producers, and ensure the best utilization of resources. These goals would serve well across Canada.


Update - National Voluntary Beef Cattle Biosecurity Standard

Development of the national voluntary biosecurity standard for the beef cattle industry has successfully completed phase one. The four phase initiative intends to develop a practical and cost-effective standard for producers to contribute to the profitable production of healthy animals and safe food by reducing the potential for introduction and spread of disease.

Phase one, as noted in the March 29th issue of Action News, asked producers with varying sized operations across the country to participate in a two-hour consultation from the comfort of their home or office. Information was gathered on producers’ current animal health related practices, including control of traffic onto the operation, introduction of new animals, disposal of deadstock and manure, sanitation and pest control.

“We felt it was critically important that we start with a good factual understanding of what producers are presently doing on-farm biosecurity-wise before we started drafting the standard,” said Rob McNabb, General Manager of Operations for the CCA. “Production methods are often specific to different conditions and regions, like the large feedlot and range-based cow-calf operations in Western Canada and the barn style feedlots of Eastern Canada.”

Consultations were held with a representative sample of 207 producers in eight provinces. The information collected is being used to move the initiative forward based on informed discussion, which prevents assumptions that practices in other industries are present in the beef industry, objectively considers the impact of potential changes in biosecurity practices and measures the extent of future change.

Phase two, now in full swing, aims to look both beyond and within the industry using expert advice to describe ideal practices, noting their potential impact upon risk and profitability.

Following completion of phase two, work can begin to prepare the Standard. Tools will also be developed, including a Producer Manual, that enable producers to meet guidelines in the Standard and effectively identify ways and means of reducing animal health related risks within their operation and industry.

Throughout its development and prior to broad industry consultation, the Standard will receive input from the Beef Biosecurity Advisory Group, comprised of industry, academic, provincial and federal representatives.

The initiative, being undertaken by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the CCA with funding provided under Agriculture Canada’s Growing Forward, is on track for completion in mid-2011, with periodic review thereafter.


Evaluation of current tag distribution system underway

The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) is undertaking a review and study of the current tag distribution model. The objective is to understand ways to improve overall data integrity and identify opportunities to enhance the supply chain efficiency of the animal identification program in Canada.

Beef cattle producers are important stakeholders within the process. The CCIA seeks feedback from producers on the current system and how it is working for them. A survey has been developed to allow producers to share their insights about the tag distribution system, which will help shape the outcome of this study and provide direction for the future.

The CCA supports this project and encourages members to participate. This is a valuable opportunity to make sure your voice is heard and to influence the future direction of the animal identification tag distribution process in Canada. The survey can be accessed when producers log into their CLTS account or by clicking on this link: www.surveymonkey.com/CCIA_Survey


Beef Alliance’s Young Ranchers program, Canadian Western Agribition join forces

The CCA is pleased to announce that Canada will host the 2012 Five Nations Beef Alliance (FNBA) Young Ranchers program, to be held in conjunction with the Canadian Western Agribition (CWA) in Regina. 

One of the most prestigious beef exhibitions in Canada, the CWA is an ideal event to host the FNBA Young Ranchers program. Agribition draws a large number of international guests each year and features a variety of international exhibits and events. The FNBA Young Ranchers program attracts young leaders 18-35 years of age from New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, the U.S. and Canada who are passionate about the future direction of the beef industry.

This week, Cattlemen's Young Leaders (CYL) program candidates Rosie Templeton, Samantha Sperber and Nanita Blomquist will participate in a number of educational activities during Agribition. Joining them will be Kim O’Neil from the Denver Canadian Consulate and an active partner in the FNBA Young Ranchers program, and Jill Harvie, CYL program Coordinator.


More about Mycoplasma

Mycoplasma bovis has been implicated in bovine respiratory disease, chronic pneumonia and severe lameness in feedlot cattle. Mycoplasma is less of a problem now than it was a few years ago, but there are still some questions about how to best manage it. A BCRC project funded by the National Check-off studied:

Click here to read more.


Job Opportunity - Market Analyst

Canfax, Canada’s source for cattle market information, is looking for a market analyst to join its Calgary team. A division of the CCA, Canfax has provided expert analysis of markets and trends in the ever changing North American beef industry for over 30 years.

To see the job posting in full, click here.

CCA Action News

Staff Contributors: John Masswohl, Ryder Lee, Jill Harvie, Reynold Bergen
Written, edited and compiled by: Gina Teel and Tracy Sakatch

To sign up for CCA's “Action News”:
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For more information, contact:

CCA Communications at feedback@cattle.ca or visit our website at www.cattle.ca

The Canadian Cattlemen's Association is the national voice for nearly 90,000 Canadian beef cattle producers

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