SD Stockgrowers Concerned – Illegal Canadian Cattle Discovered in the U.S.
Rapid City ~ The South Dakota
Stockgrowers Association (SDSGA) hopes USDA will take the necessary steps to remedy a loss of revenue for a South Dakota producer
who unknowingly purchased Canadian feeder cattle, says SDSGA President Rick Fox.
An independent South Dakota feeder
was under the impression, in November of 2006, that he had delivered U.S. cattle to a slaughter plant in Nebraska, but found
out differently when the packing plant denied him payment on seven head of the fat cattle, says Fox. “He bought calves
in South Dakota, and fed them at home in his feedlot like he always does, so he was pretty surprised when he got a call from
the packing plant telling them that seven head out of the load had been condemned because they were of Canadian origin. The
offal on the entire load was also condemned, which meant another substantial loss in income. He did not realize that the cattle
were from Canada - he had purchased them assuming that they were domestic cattle.”
Even though Canadian eartags
were identified in the calves, the cattle have not been traced back to any particular farm or ranch in Canada. “Bureaucrats
in Washington tell us that the U.S. cattle industry needs an individual animal ID program to allow for fast traceback, but
the Stockgrowers believe that tracking of imported cattle should be a higher priority. Unfortunately, it appears that
USDA is not keeping track of the cattle being imported from Canada - under USDA’s rules, these calves should never have
been allowed to be sold in a South Dakota auction market. The Canadian officials apparently haven’t been
able to trace back the movements and origin of the calves, despite the official Canadian tags found in their ears.”
Fox says that USDA implemented a rule in 2005 to allow the importation of Canadian feeder cattle under 30 months of
age, but only under very strict conditions. “The cattle are supposed to enter the U.S. in sealed trucks and be transported
directly to an identified feedlot. They are then to remain in the identified feedlot until they are hauled to a slaughter
plant in a sealed truck. The fact that these calves showed up at a salebarn in South Dakota, were allowed to intermingle with
U.S. cattle, and were not represented as Canadian cattle, indicates that USDA is not monitoring the very system it
“USDA’s mistake has really hit close to home – it has cost a South Dakota producer immensely. The
Stockgrowers will keep working with him in hopes of recovering his lost income and preventing this problem from happening
again,” said Fox.
Fox said that the Stockgrowers have sent a letter to USDA with three requests: 1) a full update
regarding the progress of the investigation; 2) an explanation as to the non-compliance that allowed the mistake and; 3) indemnification
for the feeder’s financial loss.
The South Dakota feeder hopes to recover his lost income and will be cautious
about purchasing calves in the future. He also hopes USDA’s investigation will soon reveal whether this was an isolated
case, or if herd mates or other calves entered the U.S. and were sold and co-mingled illegally. Fox agrees. “It’s
tough to believe that there aren’t more calves that crossed the border with these.”
According to Fox,
USDA has now proposed a further relaxation of import regulations to allow cattle from Canada that are over 30 months of age.
is ludicrous that USDA would even consider relaxing the very import rules that they are already having difficulty policing.
Before they even think about allowing older Canadian cattle to be imported, I hope they can figure out a monitoring system
Fox said that SDSGA remains in opposition of the original rule to allow “under 30 month”
cattle to be imported from Canada, as well as the proposed rule to allow importation of cattle over 30 months. “Canada
has a BSE problem, plain and simple. USDA has placed U.S. producers and the entire industry at risk by allowing Canadian cattle
to enter the country; they have further jeopardized our operations by not enforcing their import rules. The thought of relaxing
the import regulations now to allow ‘over 30 month’ Canadian cattle to be imported is absolutely irresponsible.”
Our Tax Dollars at Work: Chasing a cow over 5 states
because of a number!!!! No Mis-informtion, No Half Truths, just Facts!
The government keeps repeating that the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) is necessary to provide 48-hour
tracking to improve animal health. To some people, this sounds plausible. But even a little scratching under the surface reveals
that these claims have holes a mile wide. My personal experience with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and animal
tracking makes it clear that this will be just another program to increase the size of government, and place individuals at
the mercy of bureaucratic whims, while doing absolutely nothing to actually address animal health.
On January 22, 2007, an Investigator for the USDA, Carl H. LaLonde, Jr., of Raleigh, N.C. came to our ranch. He showed
me his gold and silver badge, and laid a health paper on my desk. He asked, "Do you notice anything wrong with that?" I looked
it over, noticing it was a cow we sold a year ago. I remembered the cow. After a careful viewing, I said, "No, I am sorry
I do not know what is wrong."
Reply, "You have exported cattle all over the world, and you can't see the cow doesn't have an ID number - it says there
is supposed to be a number on the cow!"
Actually, the box on the form said, "Eartag no. or other official identification, name or description." When I pointed
out that the cow's registered name was clearly typed, meeting that requirement, LaLonde interrupted, and insisted that only
a "number" would do.
So here's the story: In June 2005, we purchased a herd of 472 registered Texas Longhorn cattle in Oklahoma. Each animal
received a health certificate from P. L. Edmonds, DVM, of Morris, Oklahoma. In January 2006, we sold one cow, named Rosey
Barb, to an Ohio producer. Her health paper was prepared, to ship her from Oklahoma to Dundee, Ohio.
In August 2006, LaLonde arrived, unannounced, at Dundee, Ohio and quizzed the owner about the shipment of Rosey Barb. Being
a first-time importer from Oklahoma, he was shocked. He was innocent of any wrongdoing. LaLonde did not ask to see the cow,
health records, or if she was dead or alive - the issue was entirely about paperwork, not inspecting the animal, or protecting
In our conversation, LaLonde asked me who was driving the truck when Rosey crossed the state lines. He assured us the driver
who had crossed into Ohio without legal paper work was in violation. I assured him I had authorized the shipment and no matter
who the driver was, I was fully responsible.
LaLonde then said that the Oklahoma vet was at fault for omitting the number. Since the vet was licensed by the USDA, the
government would punish him. We had physically transported the cow to Ohio without proper documentation, and would equally
be in violation. A citation would be in order and the case would be recorded on our ranch records. I was required to fill
out numerous forms admitting guilt and detailing each fact for further prosecution. Although I have never had a USDA violation
in Ohio, ever, the next time something happens, I will be treated as a "second time offender." That will be considered, in
USDA legal terms, "wanton, habitual disregard of the law." And all because a veterinarian wrote the cow's name on the form
instead of a number.
I asked what would be done to Dr. Edmonds. LaLonde said Edmonds had no excuse. He knows this number is required, and understands
the penalties if he does not fill out a health paper exactly correct. Dr. Edmonds would have a hearing, and he might even
lose his license. I said it would be depressing to think a professional with a major large animal health practice could lose
his license over one number. Investigator LaLonde smiled. His job was investigation and prosecution, not fairness or animal
health. Dr. Edmonds prepared health papers for over 400 cattle for Dickinson Cattle Co. and left one number off of one certificate,
and he will pay the price.
This was not an issue of BSE, TB, Bangs, a stolen cow, or forgery. It was one number. As of today, LaLonde has driven several
hundred miles about this one single number. It could have been handled by phone.
This is USDA. This is what it can be like to have NAIS enforcers at the door. NAIS will penalize veterinarians, livestock
owners, buyers, haulers and numerous livestock workers. One wrong number. What will it cost your family if we have a fully-functional
It is the serious job of every USA livestock owner to oppose the total USDA program of NAIS. Do this for your family and
children. NAIS is cold and ruthless. It is not about disease - it is about control. Call your state, federal and all elected
officials who have authority to stop NAIS. Each farm/ranch has a few months left to fight for your freedom against wanton,
unremorseful, full-time enforcement of the most feared USDA proposal in history: NAIS.
As Investigator LaLonde left the office,he smiled, shook my hand and said, "I love my job."
This is exact to the letter. Happened January 22, 2007, at Dickinson Cattle Co. Barnesville, Ohio. Submitted by Darol
For further proof here is the Certificate of Veterinary Inspection #73-1087096 Issued by Oklahoma State Department of Ag,
Food & Forestry
Billings, Mont. – R-CALFUSA is seeking information from the U.S. Department
of Agriculture (USDA) on why it appears that agency officials describe incomplete paperwork on perhaps hundreds of imported
Canadian cattle as “minor record-keeping problems,” yet initiate enforcement action against a U.S.
cattle producer, claiming animals were transported in interstate commerce without a valid health certificate.
The U.S. producer in question is Darol Dickinson, owner of Dickinson
Cattle Co. in Barnesville, Ohio. The event in question is the transport of a 6-year-old Texas
Longhorn cow and a bull calf from Oklahoma to Ohio in January 2006. The veterinary health
certificate – issued by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture – states the identity of the pair as “Rosey
Bark-B” and “Bull Calf at side” on the form under “EARTAG NO. OR OTHER OFFICIAL IDENTIFICATION, NAME
USDA correspondence to Dickinson dated Feb. 26, 2007, from the Investigative
and Enforcement Services (IES) branch of USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) states that Dickinson
transported the pair without a valid health certificate because “the consignee portion of the health certificate was
incomplete and no official identification was listed for the cow.” The IES correspondence instructs Dickinson
that he can waive his right to a hearing and settle the matter by paying a $1,250 penalty by March 26, 2007. If Dickinson
does not request a hearing or pay the fine by said date, the IES letter states that litigation will result, and furthermore,
“…The penalty offered in this Stipulation is not relevant to the sanctions APHIS may seek, or that will be assessed
after issuance of a formal complaint…”
Dickinson maintains that all charges are false for the following
were transported with an official Oklahoma State Health Certificate of Inspection prepared and signed by a USDA-licensedOklahomaState Veterinarian.
for the Consignee portion of the health certificate was indeed complete for a resident of a small rural village.
identification for the cow was provided exactly as required by the printed form issued by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture.
on the USDA-licensed professional to properly execute the government form in its entirety.
driver who transported the animals stopped at every port-of-entry crossing in every state required by law during the legal
transport of these cattle.
driver is not a USDA-licensed professional, and therefore, unable to evaluate the official veterinary health certificate for
“Apparently, USDA doesn’t think the veterinarian who filled out
the health certificate for these animals did so in a way USDA considers to be correct,” said R-CALF USA President/Region
VI Director Max Thornsberry, a Missouri veterinarian who also chairs the R-CALF USA Animal Health Committee. “We have
written a letter to Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns protesting that fine, particularly drawing attention to USDA’s
comment that all the cattle coming in from Canada without proper paperwork was a simple, minor paperwork
R-CALF USA sent the letter to Johanns on March 23, 2007,
requesting that the fine immediately be rescinded. Only today did USDA confirm to R-CALFUSA
that an investigation is ongoing and that the results will be forthcoming in the near future.
“USDA’s citation against Dickinson Cattle Company appears to be
discriminatory, based on recent statements to the media by APHIS officials regarding the insignificance of improper documentation
accompanying imported Canadian cattle,” Thornsberry continued. “It appears APHIS is holding Dickinson Cattle Company
to a much higher standard than it holds individuals or entities that authorize the transport of imported Canadian cattle,
and this is patently wrong.”
On Feb. 23, 2007, the Chicago Tribune published an article by Washington
Bureau Reporter Steve Hedges, with the headline “USDA: Mistakes tracing Canadian cattle are ‘minor’”.
The piece quoted APHIS spokesperson Andrea McNally as charactering problems with the documentation of imported Canadian cattle
as only “minor record-keeping problems.”
“If that’s USDA’s position, then the citation issued to Dickinson
for transporting U.S. cattle within the United States is wholly unjustified and discriminatory,”
Thornsberry asserted. “Based on our understanding of the circumstances, Dickinson’s documentation
was in substantial compliance, if not complete compliance, with APHIS rules and regulations. R-CALFUSA
is requesting that USDA take steps to ensure that U.S. cattle producers are not discriminated against
by being held to a higher standard than that imposed on individuals or entities handling imported cattle.
“This heavy-handed USDA enforcement action focuses only on whether
an animal identification number was included in the documentation – it had nothing to do with the health
of the animals in question,” Thornsberry concluded. “R-CALFUSA is concerned that this situation
may be indicative of the control USDA intends to exercise over U.S. cattle producers under it proposed
National Animal Identification System. If this is the case, then the U.S. cattle industry would be subjected
to an unacceptable level of regulatory control by USDA.”
Note: To view R-CALFUSA’s
letter, the veterinary health certificate, USDA’s correspondence to Dickinson and other supporting
documents, visit the “Animal Health” link at www.r-calfusa.com.
Enter supporting content here
Premises Registration will be an "Official" USDA unique seven Character identifier.
In the New User Guide it states on Page 22:
The premises identification number (PIN) is assigned permanently to a geophysical location.
If an owner or entity sells his/her farm, the next operators of the premises use the original premises identification number
that had been assigned to that location. If the seller buys a new location to build a new operation that never had livestock,
he/she would register that location and obtain a new premises identification number (PIN).
Premises Identification = Encumbrance
Comments on the site are very welcomed.. If you see something that is in error, point it out, if you have a document that
needs posting, provide the information and if its state specific post the state.. This site is for all livestock owners..