Volume 10 Issue 2 • September 9th, 2013

In This Issue ...

 

COOL update

The Government of Canada's request that the World Trade Organization (WTO) establish a compliance panel in the U.S. mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) dispute was on the agenda at the August 30 meeting of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB).

As expected, the U.S. exercised its right to block the first request at this DSB meeting. A second request will be made for consideration at the September 25 DSB meeting.  The second request cannot be blocked and the panel will be established at that time.

Canada is asking the WTO to determine if the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) May 23 COOL amendment complies with the U.S.'s WTO obligations. The Government of Canada and the CCA share the position that the U.S. amendment falls short of compliance and in fact increases the discrimination against imported cattle in the U.S. marketplace. A compliance panel and appeal process is expected to take until late 2014.

In other COOL news, CCA staff John Masswohl and Washington D.C. legal counsel Ed Farrell attended the August 27 hearing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.) regarding CCA's petition along with other Plaintiffs (including National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), the American Meat Institute (AMI) and the Canadian Pork Council) for a preliminary injunction (PI) to suspend USDA's May 23 regulation amending COOL until the Court can hear the case on its merits.

Judge Katanji Brown Jackson opened the hearing by indicating that she had reviewed the briefing material by all parties and she found them to be excellent preparation for the hearing.  She noted that this is a very complicated case involving government regulation of a complex industry and she encouraged the parties to provide detailed background information in their presentations. She concluded the introduction by stating that her intention would be to take the information presented in the hearing under advisement and to prepare a written decision on the PI request within 14 days – this decision is expected on or before September 10. Should the PI be granted, USDA's May 23 regulation will be suspended until the case can be heard on its merits.   If the PI is not granted, USDA will proceed to fully implement and enforce the May 23 rule. The date for hearing the case on its merits has not yet been set.

 

Renewed Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle released

Following an intensive three year review process, the renewed Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle is finally available for producers. The Code is a set of science-informed and expert-vetted guidelines for everyday practices used in the raising of beef cattle, including priority animal care issues like painful procedures, feedlot health, housing/shelter and weaning strategies. Code guidelines are not regulation, they are recommended practices put forth by industry experts as science-informed proper animal care. Producers can defer to the Code knowing the recommended guidelines are based on the latest knowledge and science. The Code will also help consumers better understand the practices used in beef cattle production and provide assurances that all guidelines are rooted in proper animal care. The CCA encourages producers to familiarize themselves with the renewed Code and incorporate the practices within in order to ensure that they continue to practice the best animal care possible. The Code is available electronically at www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/beef-cattle.

 

Steaks for Soldiers three-peat at CFB Petawawa

Canfax Market Briefs

CCA representatives were on hand at the Steaks for Soldiers event at CFB Petawawa last week, helping to serve 2,000 Canadian AAA, well-aged strip loins to the troops and their families. Sponsor a Steak for a Returning Soldier leader Harvey Dann was also at the event -- the eighth Steaks for Soldiers event held in appreciation of Canadian troops since the start of the campaign.

The CCA has supported the Steaks for Soldiers campaign since 2007, when the first troop rotation came back from Afghanistan. At that time the CCA sponsored the 1,700 steaks served to the returning troops of the Royal Canadian Regiment and their families at CFB Petawawa. At last week's event, all personnel stationed at CFB Petawawa were welcome to participate. The steaks were supplied by St. Helen's Meat Packers, which harvests cattle fed in Quebec and Ontario that have been born and raised all across the country.

Following the initial Sponsor a Steak event, Dann and his daughter, Jackie Dann, spear-headed the Steaks for Soldiers campaign with the intent to bring the program to bases across Canada as a way for beef producers to extend their gratitude to the Canadian Forces. The Dann's have worked tirelessly to repeat and expand the original 2007 CFB Petawawa event and bring it to most of the major CFBs across Canada. Events have been held at CFB Shilo (2010 & 2012), CFB Edmonton (2011 & 2012) and CFB Valcartier (2011). This is the third event at CFB Petawawa, with a second held earlier this year.

The CCA thanks producers who have contributed to this important campaign.

 

Canadian Cattlemen's Foundation update – experienced volunteers sought for inaugural board

A significant amount of work has gone into the development of the Canadian Cattlemen's Foundation. With the Foundation currently in the process of becoming a charity, the focus has shifted to finding experienced professionals to sit on the inaugural board of directors. This board will assist the Foundation in its mission to support the sustainable advancement and legacy of the Canadian beef industry.

The Foundation was created to accomplish core objectives identified by the CCA: to facilitate and encourage stewardship practices and conservation actions that preserve the environment, biodiversity and wildlife habitat on working agricultural landscapes; create and/or support education, leadership development and outreach programs to serve youth involved with beef cattle; and support beef industry sustainability through research and awareness. For more information on role requirements and how to apply, click here.

 

CCA job opportunity – application deadline is September 15

Canada's beef cattle industry is dynamic and complex and contributes more than $33 billion to the Canadian economy. The CCA has an excellent job opportunity for the right candidate. This Calgary-based position is for a communications coordinator with strong writing, editing and organizational skills to assist the CCA in its ongoing national communications. Click here for the full job description and details on how to apply.

 

Do DDGS affect feedlot cattle health?

Corn, wheat and other grains contain 68-70% starch, 10-13% protein, 2-4% oil, 2-3% fiber and 2% minerals. Bioethanol production only uses the starch from the grain. Therefore, the protein, oil, fiber, and minerals are much more concentrated in the dried distillers' grains with solubles (DDGS) by-product than in the original grain. DDGS may be incorporated into feedlot diets depending on cost and availability. Feeding DDGS may have positive or negative impacts on animal health. The increased sulfur concentration in DDGS may increase the risk of polioencephalomalacia (PEM), a nervous disorder that has been observed in both high grain diets and high sulfur diets.

A recently-completed research project funded by the National Check-off and Canada's Beef Science Cluster evaluated animal health and performance impacts of yearling cattle finished on rations containing variable levels of wheat-based DDGS. The study found that dietary sulfur levels can vary among different sources of DDGS, and this can affect sulfur levels in the rumen, blood and urine. Feeding DDGS at up to 40% of the diet did not increase the risk of PEM or metabolic disease in these studies. To learn more about this research, view the BCRC fact sheet here: http://www.beefresearch.ca/factsheet.cfm/do-ddgs-affect-feedlot-cattle-health-96

 

CCA Action News

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


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The Canadian Cattlemen's Association is the national voice for Canada's beef cattle industry representing 68,500 beef farms and feedlots.

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