ACA Requests USDA/APHIS to Help Missouri Deer & Elk Farmers
November 19, 2013
ACA Councilmen from Missouri Applaud Proactive Effort
AYR, NE- During a recent American Cervid Alliance council meeting, the Leadership Council unanimously approved the ACA request assistance from USDA/APHIS official Dr. TJ Myers with positive messaging to state agriculture and conservation officials in Missouri. The motion came from Charly Seale representing the Exotic Wildlife Association, as a result of the negative and inaccurate media stories portraying that CWD will destroy the state’s free-ranging deer population and economy. Donald Hill, representing the Missouri Whitetail Deer Breeders & Hunting Ranch Association, was the second on the motion.
ACA Leaders felt the letter could be helpful if USDA/APHIS decided to reach out to its state counterparts. Moderator Eric Mohlman reminded the council USDA/APHIS offered to help with messaging at the USDA/ industry leaders stakeholders meeting in September. Dr. TJ Myers was in charge of the stakeholders meeting and heard the industry leaders’ requests.
The adopted motion also urged members associations to submit letters of their own. “These letters will be a tremendous help,” said Donald Hill. “We have to do more because these attacks are not stopping. Credible sources like USDA/APHIS would be very helpful in setting the record straight if they’ll help us.”
Kevin Hinkebein, the ACA Councilman representing the Missouri Elk Farmers Association, agreed with Hill. Hinkebein offered the following statement: “We need to let the public know that we are basing our decisions on sound science. Sound science and public information are the key elements that will enable us to survive. We want to tell the truth and let our citizens know that CWD is not going to devastate the world. I would like to see our wildlife departments take more interest in testing wild deer. Farmers in the business of raising deer and elk have been testing for many years. We have now gained enough scientific data to provide a reasonable set of regulations that will keep the deer and elk industry safe and viable.”
The letter, which has been drafted by Moderator Eric Mohlman on behalf of the ACA council, will be mailed to Dr TJ Myers later this week. Over a dozen association leaders on the call have since indicated they would be sending letters from their own associations as well.
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