USAHA Conference Considered Overwhelming Success for Cervid Industry

October 24, 2013

SAN DEIGO- After five action-filled days at the United States Animal Health Association conference (USAHA), industry leaders concluded the conference with several successes for the cervid industry. Several industry resolutions were approved that will strengthen the overall voice of our industry and assist in reducing burdens on producers.  

During the American Cervid Alliance meeting last week several proposed resolutions were approved by the ACA council members.  This approval allowed industry leaders to submit these resolutions to the various committees within USAHA.  Once our industry resolutions were approved by the various committees they were then sent to the full USAHA membership where they easily passed. 

The American Cervid Alliance's application for a position on the USAHA board of directors was unanimously approved.  This now gives the ACA a voice and a vote on all USAHA matters affecting, not only the cervid industry, but all agricultural industries as well.

 The request for a farmed cervid committee, which was approved by the ACA at last week’s council meeting, was presented to the USAHA Executive Committee. A decision will be made within the next few days concerning this request.

The resolutions approved at this year’s conference include a resolution that urges the USDA/APHIS to eliminate Brucellosis testing requirements for interstate movement of whitetail deer and mule deer.  This will have a great impact on deer producers. Originally, the ACA Council sought to extend Brucellosis certification requirements from 36 to 60 months.  After consulting with several state veterinarians ACA leaders offered a more encompassing resolution which urged USDA/APHIS to eliminate the Brucellosis testing requirements for whitetail and mule deer.


In the TB committee, a resolution was approved that requests USDA evaluate the Cervid TB Stat-Pak and DPP for use in sika and mule deer.  Another TB resolution approved that same day urges USDA to allow a designated TB epidemiologist to consider the herd and animal history in addition to the TB test results when arriving at the final TB classification of a cervid.  This could mean the difference between an animal being considered TB negative by the epidemiologist, or having to be killed and necropsied for that determination.

A resolution to extend TB testing intervals from 36 to 60 months was not approved at this time. Several health officials expressed interest for the idea, but only after more TB testing has been completed using the Stat Pak (TB blood test).

USDA/APHIS Deputy Director, Dr John Clifford offered to delay the publication of the CWD Program Standards and offer a personal review of the document.  Dr Clifford was aware of the industry concerns. Because of the offer made by Dr Clifford, no resolution was offered dealing with the standards.   

The attendance at this conference by industry leaders is vital in building strong relationships with state and federal health officials as well as wildlife representatives.  Every industry association should consider budgeting for a representative from their respective association to attend next year's conference in Kansas City, Missouri.

Industry representatives attending were Warren Blunzer, Rhonda Brakke, Todd Landt, Travis Lowe, Eric Mohlman, Bill Pittenger, Shawn Schafer, Charly Seale, Laurie Seale, Daryl Simon, Curt Waldvogel, Skip West, Kyle Wilson, Dick Winters, and Glen Zebarth. The ACA appreciates the time and effort of everyone involved.  

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