Sept. 21 — Starting at noon last Wednesday, South Dakota started stopping all trucks coming into the state to see if they carried Canadian agricultural products. Gov. Bill Janklow ordered the inspections to send a message urging that U.S. government officials ensure fair trade between the United States and Canada.
U.S. farm products shipped into Canada must undergo more extensive inspection than products crossing the border in the other direction, he said. So South Dakota is not allowing trucks carrying Canadian cattle or hogs to go through the state unless they can certify the animals free of six drugs that are banned in the United States but are allowed in Canada. Similarly, trucks with Canadian grain are banned unless proof is supplied that they are free of Karnal Bunt disease and do not contain wild oats.
At least seven trucks were turned away on the first day of the action. Two trucks loaded with Canadian cattle pulled up to the weigh station just 10 minutes after noon, according to the Associated Press. The drivers apparently had a note from the cattle’s owner saying they had not been given any of the banned drugs. Troopers told them that the cattle had to have been tested for the drugs. The trucks were escorted to the nearby Minnesota border. Denny Nordling, owner of the trucks, said apparently his drivers’ paperwork from the U.S. Agriculture Department was not good enough. He said South Dakota will be the big loser, because truckers will avoid the state and cost South Dakota money in fuel taxes.
At the first weigh station on the North Dakota side of the Canadian border, truckers were stopped and given a questionnaire. Truckers headed to South Dakota were given a one-page warning of what would be required in that state.