Overview of ACA’s Action Dealing with CWD Standards

September 4, 2013

Voting History Offers Clarity on Council’s Decisions on Record 

To bring cervid breeders up to date on past actions of the American Cervid Alliance, a concise recap of the voting actions of the ACA regarding the CWD Program Standards are as follows:  Moderator Eric Mohlman stated there are too many theories regarding various positions and agreements of the ACA.  Mohlman said, “The ACA’s position is only what our majority says it is. All 29 members have an equal say, this is why we have this council.”

The CWD Program Standards have been a dominating topic for the council since the ACA’s inception last December.  There have been four votes relating to the standards document and process. As of September 4, 2013, since the Standards working group concluded its task, the ACA has fulfilled all its approved and agreed upon obligations regarding the "standards process."

Since June, the subsequent votes taken by the ACA’s council members approved sending a letter to the USDA stating that the Standards Document Version 22 is unacceptable. The council also approved retaining legal counsel to advise the cervid industry prior to the public comment period.  The ACA has made no agreement regarding the public comment period or endorsement of the standards.  

Below is a summary of the action taken by the ACA Council Members regarding the standards.

Define Negotiating Process- April 9, 2013- A vote of 24-0, to define the “process” as continuing negotiations of the standards until the Standards Working Group concludes. The Standards Working Group concluded in June.  The motion was made by Travis Lowe of the Kansas Cervid Breeders Association, seconded by Charly Seale of the Exotic Wildlife Association. This process has been completed and fulfilled by the council.  

Send Letter to USDA- July 23, 2013- A vote of 15-0, to draft a concise one page letter to be drafted by Travis Lowe and Eric Mohlman on behalf of the ACA and be mailed to Dr John Clifford of the United States Department of Agriculture, stating that the industry still has several major concerns that are included in the CWD Standards Document Version 22.  It was noted Version 22 was not acceptable. The motion was made by Gary Olson of the Minnesota Deer Farmers Association. Richard Garrels of the Iowa Elk Breeders Association was the second on the motion.  The letter was drafted and mailed the next week.  

Explore Legal Options- July 23, 2013- A motion of 15-0, to start exploring our legal options regarding the standards and report to the council at the next meeting.  The motion was made by Kim Kafka of the North American Elk Breeders Association and seconded by Donald Hill of the Missouri Whitetail Deer & Hunting Ranch Association.  A presentation was given by a Kansas law firm during the ACA meeting on August 6th.

Retain Legal Counsel- August 27, 2013- A motion was made to retain the law firm of Frieden, Unrein & Forbes, in Topeka, Kansas, which specializes in federal issues. They were retained to advise the council throughout the public comment process.  Michael Heiter of the Pennsylvania Deer Farmers Association offered the motion with Charly Seale of the Exotic Wildlife Association as the second. This motion passed 19-0.  Until this time, the cervid industry had not been represented by legal counsel.  

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