Japanese market is vital to Cimarron County ranchers

Scott DeWald, Executive V.P. of the Oklahoma Cattleman's Assoc. spoke to interested cattle ranchers and feeders at the annual Cimarron County Farm Show on Tuesday.

Dewald told the cattle men that the Japanese beef market needed to be opened and quickly.

“That's what we are telling the president, and you do too,” he said.


Dewald continued that Canada will open again for import into the U.S., “Those animals will go directly to the feedlot; they will be marked at the jawbone, and any animal found to be over 30 months old will be condemned and destroyed.”

Dewald said he looks for Animal IDing in the U.S. not to start until perhaps 2008-09.

“Japan may drive the call for animal I.D. Dewald also pointed at big users of American beef as possibilities of bringing animal I.D. to the forefront; Wal-mart and McDonald's have both said they'll begin selling products created from IDed beef.

“You know if they go to that trouble they'll raise the price of that product. If it doesn't pay more, why do it?” Dewald said.

“And if we do that, we need to be paid more for that beef,” Dewald insisted,” as the cattlemen nodded.

According to Dewald, the American public has said they are supportive of IDed beef; but he points out that polls go by the wayside when a customer is faced with beef priced higher because of the expense of IDing.

Dewald then tried to assure the cattlemen insisting that the Association would insist that the animal IDing would be for trace back of potentially tainted meat and not as a tool for the Internal Revenue Service.

“But,” Dewald said solemnly if you have one case of foot and mouth disease in the U.S., animal I.Ding will be here to stay.”

Eva Rancher Jack Schnauffer asked Dewald where the Japanese were buying their beef while American beef is locked out.

“Australia, and they don't like it because it's grass fed; also they have begun to use more pork and fowl. We need to get that corn-fed beef back in their diet. The Japanese government has been subsidizing their restaurants to the tune of $350 million for the business lost because of the boycott of American beef,' Dewald said.

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