ACA Council Meets to Endorse Several Proposed USAHA Resolutions

October 17, 2013

Resolutions to Reform CWD Standards, TB, Brucellosis, and ACA Seeking USAHA Board Seat

The American Cervid Alliance Leadership Council met Thursday, October 17, 2013, to discuss possible opportunities at the upcoming United States Animal Health Association (USAHA) Conference this weekend in San Diego. The ACA’s Moderator, Eric Mohlman, wanted all the alliance council members to have an understanding of the agenda effecting our industry at USAHA prior to the leader’s arrival.  

Several ideas were discussed including how to strengthen the cervid industry’s voice within USAHA and ways to decrease on-farm testing requirements and general regulations.  Several of these ideas will be put forth, during the conference, in the form of resolutions and presented to the Brucellosis, Tuberculosis, and Captive Wildlife and Alternative Livestock Committees.

Eric Mohlman advised the Alliance that he has had several discussions with key USAHA leaders about the possibly of approving the ACA as an allied organization and board member of USAHA. Currently, three of the national cervid associations, which include the North American Elk Breeders Association, North American Deer Farmers Association, and Exotic Wildlife Association, serve on the board of directors.  The possibility of the ACA having its own seat, as an allied organization representing thirty cervid associations, would increase the presence of the industry voice on the national level.  A motion was made by Kim Kafka of the North American Elk Breeders Association, seconded by Brian Wagner of the Minnesota Elk Breeders Association, to approve the ACA moving forward to seek the USAHA Board seat.  The motion was adopted unanimously, 22-0.  The Alliance nominated two council members to serve as the interim representative for the ACA, if approved.  The nominees were Eric Mohlman and Laurie Seale. After the roll call vote, Laurie Seale was approved by a vote of 13-7.  Next year the ACA will conduct a nominating vetting process for the 2014 USAHA Conference representative.  

Charly Seale, of the Exotic Wildlife Association, stated that many of the cervid industry’s issues have, in many instances, been minimized and lost in the all encompassing Captive Wildlife and Alternative Livestock Committee. Seale said that committee discusses everything from wild animals to elephants and the cervid industry needs its own committee to focus solely on cervid farming issues.  Seale has been invited to speak with the USAHA Executive Committee this weekend to propose a new and separate farmed cervid committee, which, if approved would begin at the 2014 conference.  A motion was made, by Tim Condict of the Deer Breeders Corporation, for the ACA Council to endorse the resolution. Curt Waldvogel of the Second Ark Foundation, seconded the motion. The motion was adopted 22-0.  

Two resolutions were presented to the council, which will ask USAHA to urge the USDA to withdraw the current existing CWD standards document versions 1 through 22 and also ask for a new CWD Standards Working Group to be created with cervid industry, state agriculture, and USDA representatives, without wildlife officials, to redraft a new standards documents and remove the old Version 1 document from their policy. Seale stated, “We tried improving the Chronic Wasting Disease program standards document 22 times over a sixth month period and it is not even close. Version 1( July 2012), which according to USDA/ APHIS, the industry is operating  under needs to  be completely withdrawn because some states are already using it and even Dr Klein admits was not their best effort.”  A motion was made by Todd Landt, of the Iowa Whitetail Deer Association, to ask the ACA to endorse the two resolutions when presented to the Captive Wildlife and Alternative Livestock Committee. Kim Kafka of the North American Elk Breeders Association seconded the motion.   The motion was adopted 18-0, with one association passing. 

Two additional resolutions will be presented in the Brucellosis and Tuberculosis Committees to ask for longer testing intervals for TB reaccreditation and Brucellosis recertification.  Two separate motions were offered by Michael Heiter of the Pennsylvania Deer Farmers Association and Joel Espe of the Wisconsin Commercial Deer and Elk Farmers Association, respectively, for the ACA endorsement.  Both motions were unanimously adopted for both resolutions. 

ACA Moderator Eric Mohlman thanked the council for their input on the proposed resolutions.  Mohlman, said, “Last year at USAHA, the association leaders didn’t know what the others within the industry were planning.  Now all the thirty associations participating with the ACA are all up to date on industry proposals before we get to the convention. We are heading to San Diego as a team and united as an industry.” 

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