I feel you missed the point in the article, “Keeping Case No. 2 In Perspective,” in the June 24 special issue of BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly. You say: “Now is not the time to use this issue to… try to strengthen or weaken the position of any group within the beef industry.” Having sat through an R-CALF fundraiser highlighted by their so-called “expert” veterinarian, I can tell you unequivocally that now is the time to ask R-CALF, “What now?” and demand some accountability for the fear-mongering they've fostered.
I listened to this person talk of the horrors of death from BSE, the disgusting, debilitating wasting of the brain, the ease of transmission from meat to humans, the infectiousness of the disease — possibly being spread through urine, the substantial risk of death from eating beef from countries with BSE. All this was done in an attempt to further R-CALF's position of a closed Canadian border.
The public needs an explanation from R-CALF on how it plans to undo the damage it's done now that we have a domestic case of BSE.
I sent Leo McDonnell (R-CALF founder and president) an e-mail asking for some accountability. He sent me back an e-mail saying I was the hypocrite along with an article about how the futures markets actually went up on the Monday after the BSE announcement — like R-CALF had something to do with it! The markets are strong despite R-CALF's past rhetoric, not because of it.
We need less government
With the current tested and retested inconclusive BSE brain sample that is doing its best to resurface, is there any doubt we need less government intervention than ever? If we can test individual cattle like Creekstone Farms wanted to do and send Japan at least some beef and work on agreeing on science and limited testing at a later time, why not?
We can't continue to have preliminary or inconclusive tests announced and completely lose our futures markets and any chance of price protection. If this is how the government handles these situations, what will they do with national ID? A national database must be confidential to prevent calculated bids based on individual numbers of cattle on feed available that would defeat our current pay them what they are worth cattle.
If there was ever a time for cattle producers to unite, this is it. NCBA, R-CALF, and all their members, along with cow-calf producers, feeders, and our packing plants, need to take this unpolled bull by the horns.