cool manitoba meat

Manitoba said it will continue to fight against the 'country of origin' meat labelling system a U.S. appeal court upheld earlier this week. (iStock)

Manitoba, along with others in Canada's livestock industry, will be looking at legal options to continue the fight a controversial U.S. meat labelling system. 

Agriculture minister Ron Kostyshyn said he is disappointed with an appeal court's ruling upholding the 'country of origin labelling' or COOL. 

He said it has cost the beef and pork industries on both sides of the border untold millions since it was introduced 2009 and came into effect last year.

The American Meat Institute, which represents the meat and poultry industry in the U.S., is also opposed to COOL, saying it harms the industry and provides little benefit for consumers.

Kostyshyn said in the meantime, there are other markets Canada can consider exporting to besides the U.S.

He said for instance, China, where he was just three weeks ago. 

"We have some time to have to work through this chaos," he said. "We have to be pro-active provincially and federally to find alternative markets for our livestock sector."

Kostyshyn said he and federal agriculture minister Gerry Ritz are planning to talk soon about what else can be done to oppose COOL. 

"I'm looking forward to talking to him again and seeing what legal options are there as we try to continue to fight for the importance of the livestock industry and meat processing industry."

The province said there are about 23,500 jobs in Manitoba's hog and beef sectors.