House approves Shea bill intended to stop Canadian cattle trucks from avoiding port of entry inspections

Commercial cattle trucks that come into Washington’s Pend Oreille and Spokane counties from Idaho and Canada would be required to stop at a port of entry for inspection or face a $1,000 fine under a bill approved today in the House of Representatives. Fines collected would be used for road maintenance purposes in those counties.

Rep. Matt Shea, the author of House Bill 1922, said hundreds of Canadian commercial cattle trucks enter Washington weekly, coming mainly through Idaho. A port of entry is located inside the Washington border along Interstate 90 east of Spokane. Shea says many out-of-state cattle truck drivers who aware of this inspection station have opted to enter Washington using Highway 290 to the north.

“These cattle trucks are causing traffic congestion on a two-lane roadway through the Spokane Valley. They are not only a danger to the local traffic, but these heavy trucks are creating an intense amount of wear and tear on East Trent Avenue, which is designated as Highway 290,” said Shea, R-Spokane Valley.

Shea said he’s also concerned that by the avoidance of incoming cattle at the border, disease could be introduced to healthy cattle stock in Washington.

“The first U.S. case of mad cow disease was discovered in 2003 involving an infected Holstein cow at a Mabton dairy farm. That cow had been transported into Washington from Canada,” noted Shea. “If Canadian cattle truck operators are avoiding the port of entry inspections, we have no way of knowing whether sick animals are being transported into our state. That creates serious concerns for our food supply. This bill provides for the enforcement of inspections to ensure the safety of in-state cattle herds and another tool to keep our food supply safe.”

The measure was approved 98-0. It now goes to the Senate for further consideration.

# # #

CONTACT: John Sattgast, Senior Information Officer: (360) 786-7257


Washington State House Republican Communications