WASHINGTON – The U.S. government should take every step necessary to immediately increase security at the U.S.-Mexico border, said the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (N.C.B.A.) and Public Lands Council (P.L.C.).

Concerns have escalated significantly with U.S.D.A.’s recent closure of live cattle crossing stations near Pharr and Laredo in south Texas. These two stations historically account for roughly 15% of trade in live cattle between the U.S. and Mexico.

‘“N.C.B.A. has long supported the need for a sustainable plan to increase border security,” said Steve Foglesong, N.C.B.A. president. “For more than 100 years, live cattle trade across the U.S.-Mexico border has been an integral part of the beef industry. It appears to us that the situation across a considerable section of the border with our trading partner to the south has deteriorated rapidly, and is now affecting our businesses and our personal safety. It’s time for the U.S. government to take immediate action before commerce and lives are put at further risk.”

Both groups added the recent murder of an Arizona rancher by a suspected illegal alien further reinforces the need for immediate action.

“The historical lack of security at our borders continues to pose a threat to livestock producers and their families,” said Skye Krebs, P.L.C. president. “It’s unacceptable for ranchers in our border communities to have to live in constant fear of their lives and property simply because of where they live and do business.”