Billings, Mont. -- Based on information received from R-CALFUSA member-ranchers in Washington state, R-CALFUSA on Monday, Aug. 24, 2009, made a written request to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to investigate a potential violation of USDA requirements for the importation into the U.S. of Canadian cattle.
R-CALF USA was informed 405 Canadian feeder cattle that were permitted by the state of Washington to be fed in a dry feedlot at the Agri Beef Co.-owned El Oro Cattle Feeders feedlot in Moses Lake, Wash., were instead diverted to range land and found to be grazing near North Port, Wash., on the Three Rivers Ranger District in the Colville National Forest.
The state of Washington required these imported Canadian cattle to be tested for brucellosis and/or bovine tuberculosis before leaving the dry feedlot, unless they were delivered for slaughter. However, R-CALFUSA's investigation revealed that the imported Canadian cattle were diverted without being tested, and these untested cattle have commingled with domestic cattle herds owned by Washington state ranchers.
As a result, the domestic cattle owned by area ranchers have been exposed to a potential risk of bovine tuberculosis and/or brucellosis.