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Feed maker to appeal mad cow lawsuit ruling

Published on 23 February, 2006, Last updated at 04:51 GMT

14th Jan, 2006: Winnippeg - Animal feed maker Ridley Inc. is trying to appeal an Ontario ruling allowing a farmer's mad cow-related lawsuit to proceed.

The major livestock nutrition company, which has headquarters in Winnipeg and Mankato, Minn., said yesterday it is filing documents seeking permission to appeal an Ontario Superior Court judge's ruling of last week.

The judge denied Ridley's motion to dismiss the farmer's lawsuit on Jan. 5, allowing the case against the company and the Canadian government to move to the next stage -- including determining whether the case can become a class action suit.

Ridley is a co-defendant in proposed class action lawsuits filed in four provinces by cattle farmers.

The farmers are seeking compensation for losses allegedly incurred in international bans on Canadian beef and cattle after a cow in Alberta was diagnosed with mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), in 2003.

Researchers believe cattle feed contaminated with parts from infected animals can transmit the disease.

Ridley said it "looks forward to the opportunity to appeal the decision, which it believes conflicts with Supreme Court of Canada case law and other court decisions.

"Early dismissal of the lawsuit remains Ridley's primary goal and the company will continue to fully defend against the claims as long as the case continues."

The firm's shares closed down 20 cents at $8.50 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.


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