Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer and Rep. Kelly Armstrong urged the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division to open an investigation into the acquisition of Mountain States Rosen on Thursday.
M-S-R is a lamb processing facility in Colorado.
JBS is slated to buy that company and close its facility.
In a letter written by the delegation, it states MSR is a cooperative owned by 149 sheep ranching families in 11 western states.
It is the second-largest lamb packaging plant in the United States, processing approximately 350,000 lambs annually, which accounts for about one-fifth of the entire domestic lamb market.
The letter said it is “our understanding that JBS is considering a complete shutdown of all lamb processing and may permanently destroy all of the lamb processing equipment at the site following the acquisition. This is alarming, given that JBS is a direct competitor of MSR and the largest importer of lamb in the United States.”
It went on to say, “For these reasons, we urge the DOJ to immediately open an investigation into the acquisition and request that MSR cease any plans it may have to shutter the lamb processing facility” because, according to them, if the acquisition goes through, North Dakota’s sheep ranchers may be irreversibly harmed.