Four groups have filed motions to intervene in the lawsuit filed July 8 seeking to block implementation of a mandatory country-of-origin (COOL) labeling rule finalized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in May 2013.

The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, National Farmers Union, Sheep Industry Association and Consumer Federation of America jointly filed a motion to intervene in the COOL lawsuit brought against USDA by the American Meat Institute and eight other United States, Canadian and Mexican meat and livestock organizations.

In the motion, the potential intervenors seek to respond to the motion for a preliminary injunction in the case, intervene on the merits of the action, saying it impacts their interests.

In their earlier filing, AMI and other meat trade groups including the National Pork Producers Council, contended that if allowed to proceed, the final COOL rule will irreparably harm meat-industry participants.

The government (USDA) also filed its brief opposing the plantiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction, saying the plantiffs made the request without demonstrating that they are entitled to the emergency injunction relief they seek.