USDA Secretary Mike Johanns:

"I applaud today's ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to lift the preliminary injunction that blocked implementation of the BSE minimal risk regions rule. Because the ruling is effective immediately, we are immediately taking steps to resume the importation of cattle under 30 months of age from Canada.

"USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is already in contact with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to prepare to certify cattle for shipment. We have been safely importing boneless boxed beef from Canada since September 2003, and now we will use the scientific approach laid-out in our minimal risk rule to once again safely import live Canadian cattle for processing.

"This is great news for the future of the U.S. beef industry, specifically the many ranchers, feeders, and processing plants that have been struggling to make ends meet due to the closed border. It also bolsters our position with other international trading partners by following the very advice we have given them to base trade decisions on sound science."