CBC News - Edmonton - Beef producers slam Ottawa over BSE cases
CBC News reported this week on the ongoing BSE class action lawsuit. Following the outbreak of BSE in the UK, Canada engaged in various regulatory measures to protect the Canadian cattle industry from contamination. In October 1997, Canada prohibited the feeding of protein derived from mammals to ruminants by regulation under the Health of Animals Act, S.C. 1990, c. 21. The most likely source of the disease was feed manufactured by Ridley Inc. Although Mr. Sauer, an Ontario cattle farmer, had not lost any cattle or suffered any property damage from the use of Ridley’s product, he commenced a proposed class action on behalf of commercial cattle farmers in seven provinces, claiming that Ridley had negligently, recklessly or knowingly sold a product to another farmer that had the potential to, and did, cause the harm suffered, and that the government of Canada had negligently regulated the cattle industry resulting in the harm suffered. Ridley and Canada moved to strike the claims. The motions were denied, as were their appeals. An attempted appeal of the certification of the Ontario action as a class action was also denied.
Ridley has since settled with the plaintiffs for $6 million. The case against the government is moving toward trial.
For additional information on the lawsuit and its current status, visit: BSE Class Action.