NAEBA Requests USDA/APHIS to Help Missouri Cervid Farmers
November 20, 2013
Board Member: "We Need to Look at all Options to Protect Our Members"
HOWARD LAKE, MN- The North American Elk Breeders Association has submitted a written request to USDA/APHIS to offer a statement that could help elk and deer farmers in Missouri. The request asks USDA/APHIS to clarify that their approach with CWD is control, rather than eradication. NAEBA also noted there is no science that supports CWD has had any significant impact on free-ranging populations. Missouri, like New York, Florida, and Louisiana, have seen dozens of new articles and radio ads stating CWD will destroy the state's economy and free-ranging deer populations. These fears are used to justify the closure of state borders for cervid interstate commerce, as recently accomplished in New York and Florida. Special interest groups in Missouri seek the same outcome in Missouri.
Earlier this week, the American Cervid Alliance Leadership Council unanimously voted to request help from Dr. TJ Myers of USDA/APHIS to assist in the accurate messaging. Greg Kenyon, who represented NAEBA during the ACA Council meeting, voted in support of the motion.
NAEBA Leaders decided to take the next step and offer its own request for assistance. President Kim Kafka said, "Our mission is to protect our members and their interests and we have a lot of members in Missouri that need our help."
Over the last several months, radio ads, and news editorials have urged protection of the state's deer from CWD by increasing CWD regulation and requirements on all scales.
NAEBA Board Director Greg Kenyon, who represents the NAEBA Central Region, which includes Missouri, told the board this request was essential. Kenyon said, "We have a real problem here. Our industry has great potential but our members are worried, not only in Missouri, but across the nation, because of these articles. This request is just a start of what this industry needs to do. We need to look at all options protect our members."
Missouri has been an active state for both the elk and deer industry for decades. Missouri has a high number of cervid farmers as well as several market outputs. In September, NAEBA Executive Director Travis Lowe testified with other cervid leaders at a House of Representatives Interim Committee meeting at the State Capitol discussing CWD facts and the benefits the industry has to the agriculture industry.