February 10, 2005 No. 11
THE UNITED STATES WILL CONTINUE TO BAN CANADIAN MEAT PRODUCTS FROM cattle more than 30 months of age beyond March 7, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said Wednesday. (AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Feb. 9) The Department of Agriculture, however, still plans to lift the import ban on live cattle younger than 30 months. The United States banned all cattle and beef meat products from Canada in May 2003 after a cow was detected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Two more cases of BSE were detected in Canadian cattle in recent months.

THE PROPOSED BLACK ROCK RESERVOIR EAST OF YAKIMA IS FEASIBLE, BUT would cost almost twice as much as projected earlier, according to a new report from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. (Ellensburg Daily Record, Feb. 9) A report issued Wednesday puts the cost at $3.5 to $4 billion.

JAPAN SAID TODAY IT WOULD RESUME DISCUSSIONS WITH U.S. AGRICULTURE officials over the resumption of U.S. beef imports, although no date was set. (AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Feb. 10) Japan banned U.S. beef imports 14 months ago after bovine spongiform encephalopathy was detected in a Washington dairy cow originally from Canada. Earlier this week, Japan agreed to accept U.S. beef-grading methods as a way to authenticate the age of cattle.

SEN. LARRY CRAIG, R-IDAHO, HAS INTRODUCED LEGISLATION TO CLARIFY THE rules regulating agricultural trade with Cuba. (AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Feb. 9) Craig also accused the Bush administration of erecting bureaucratic roadblocks to make it more difficult to sell agricultural goods to Cuba. Since 2000, when Congress eased restrictions on agricultural trade with Cuba, the Caribbean nation has gone from being the 226th largest market for U.S. agricultural exports to 21st, with purchases totaling nearly $1 billion.

WASHINGTON STATE HAS ASKED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO CONSIDER THE 1999 Fish & Forest Plan as a Habitat Conservation Plan, protecting the state’s timber industry from Endangered Species Act lawsuits for the next 50 years. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Feb. 10). The state Fish & Forest Plan covers 9.1 million acres - more than one-fifth of the state - and would be the second largest HCP in the country. Bob Lohn, regional administrator for the National Marine Fisheries Service, one of two agencies that must approve the plan, praised the 6-year-old Fish & Forest Plan for its “good scientific foundation [and] social support.” The plan would also need to be accepted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

A SNOHOMISH COUNTY MAN IS BEING INVESTIGATED FOR ANIMAL CRUELTY after a neighbor reported him kicking a horse that was lying down. (Seattle Times, Feb. 9) The man said the horse had colic. Neighbors also told investigators they had recently seen several dead cows on the man’s property. The man said about nine cows, from a heard of 26, have been shot by someone over the past few months, although the sheriff’s office said it had no reports of cattle being shot.

JAY MANNING, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE WASHINGTON ENVIRONMENTAL Council, has been appointed to head the state Department of Ecology by Gov. Christine Gregoire. (Seattle Times, Feb. 9) Although he has been in private legal practice since 1998, Manning also worked for Gregoire when she headed the Department of Ecology in the 1980s and later headed Gregoire’s Environmental Division when she was attorney general.

Ó 2005 Washington Farm Bureau. Washington Farm Bureau NewsWatch is a periodic update on news of interest to agriculture. Contact Dean Boyer, director of public relations, 1-800-331-3276 or, send e-mail to dboyer@wsfb.com to receive NewsWatch by fax or e-mail.



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