R-CALF urges USTR to investigate sheep imports

A cattle organization is urging the U.S. Trade Representative’s office to investigate sheep imports.

Bill Bullard with R-CALF U.S.A. tells Brownfield in just the past 30 years, the U.S. lost 60% of its commercial sheep operations, 62% of its sheep inventory, and nearly three-quarters of the lamb consumed in America is grown and raised on foreign soil.  He says American sheep producers only have 26% of the market share in their home country, and cattle producers need to pay attention. “The sheep industry is the canary in the coal mine. Where the sheep industry has gone is where our cattle industry will go unless we take remedial steps to protect our industry against cheaper imports.”

Bullard says helping draw attention to the sheep industry issues will help cattle producers, and R-CALF is supporting a letter being circulated by House Members Blake Moore of Utah and Harriet Hageman of Wyoming calling on the U.S. Trade Representative to investigate the alleged harm from Australian and New Zealand lamb and mutton. 

Bullard says sheep producers requested the USTR investigation in early August, but no action has been taken.  He’s hoping farmers and ranchers call their representatives and ask them to sign onto the letter.

AUDIO: Bill Bullard with R-CALF USA discusses sheep imports and why this is a “canary in the coalmine” for beef producers with Brownfield’s Larry Lee

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