It hasn’t received a great deal of media attention, but class action lawsuits against the federal government on the BSE issue continue to inch their way through the legal system. Actions in Alberta and Saskatchewan have been joined to an Ontario action. In April, lawyers will ask for a final merger between the Ontario and Quebec actions. If that is allowed, approximately 135,000 Canadian cattle producers will take on Ottawa, claiming that the federal government caused the BSE crisis and large subsequent losses by failing to deal properly with imported British cattle. Those cattle are believed to be the source of the Canadian outbreak. All Canadian cattle producers operating back in May 2003 are part of the class action unless they specifically choose to opt out. The legal action is well-funded because the feed company Ridley Inc. settled out of court. While Ridley did not admit any liability or wrong-doing, the company paid $6 million, which is being used to cover legal expenses. A large number of cattle producers are expected to attend an upcoming information session on the class action. That’s scheduled for March 31 in Red Deer. Further information, including legal documents, can be found at I’m Kevin Hursh.