Recent Press Releases

Senator Thune Calls for Border to Remain Closed to Canadian Beef

Letter to President Cites the Need to Protect South Dakota Cattle Ranchers

January 10, 2005

Washington D.C. —  Senator John Thune sent a letter to President Bush today requesting that the Canadian border remained closed to beef imports in light of the recent announcement of another case of BSE (Mad Cow Disease) in Canada.

Senator Thune’s letter to President Bush read in part, “I respectfully urge you to delay opening the Canadian border until the issues of the feed ban and resumed trade with our Asian markets have been resolved.”

Senator Thune also stated in the letter, “Opening the border is a decision that should be based on science. The most important scientific issue which must be addressed before our markets are flooded with Canadian cattle is whether Canada is effectively enforcing its feed ban.”

“Another crucial aspect of this issue is regaining our Asian cattle export market. If trade with these countries is not resumed by March, and the border is opened, South Dakota ranchers will be competing against Canadian cattle without the benefit of exporting our cattle to other countries. If we begin accepting Canadian beef before these Pacific Rim markets are in place, we may never regain those valuable trading partners,” said Senator Thune in the letter.

Senator Thune sent the letter to President Bush after hearing from South Dakota cattle producers. The entire letter will be available upon request.