Cervid Industry Leaders Look Forward to 2014
January 5, 2014
From the American Cervid Alliance News Room
American Cervid Alliance Leadership Council Sets Sights High for Industry
AYR, NE- In the wake of the new year, American Cervid Alliance Council Leaders are already setting goals for an ambitious year for the cervid industry. The American Cervid Alliance (ACA), since its inception in 2012, has seen leaders from all areas of the nation come together with a common goal- teamwork to preserve the farmed deer and elk industry.
The ACA Council, which meets monthly on average, already have two council meetings scheduled in the first two weeks of January. The major topic? Prevent the cervid industry from being regulated out of business. Major Chronic Wasting Disease regulatory reform, development of CWD live blood tests and vaccines, and addressing negative media stories are all on the docket this month for the council. Growing concerns from member associations are at an all-time high as a result of the impacts of the intrusive Federal CWD program being felt in various states. ACA leaders are exhausting every resource and possible option to ensure the new Federal Rule and proposed Standards are acceptable to a unified cervid industry.
“We have to do something,” said ACA Moderator Eric Mohlman. “When you look at these regulations, the status quo is unacceptable. I think we need to see the industry take a strong stand in 2014.”
As 2013 tested the industry with new CWD findings and increased regulations mandated by a federal CWD program, an undeniable force has fused the industry together with renewed hope of protecting private property rights and bringing common sense to regulations.
The ACA made a big splash in its first year. In 2013, ACA leaders spent thousands of volunteer hours combing through twenty-three versions of the fifty-six page CWD Program Standards documents making sure language will not have adverse consequences on the industry. The ACA leaders voted to retain a reputable legal team to provide insight for leaders when necessary. Until then, cervid leaders had been negotiating without the advice of expert legal counsel. One of the biggest impacts that the ACA has had in just its first year is creating a communication network that has allowed relationships to be expanded between member associations and their leaders. This network has also allowed the ACA to get critical information out to its member associations and their membership.
ACA leaders were deeply involved in providing financial and emotional support to the Brakke family in Iowa, as well as other states that required help with regulatory issues.
At the United States Animal Health Association annual conference, the ACA was approved as an official allied organization on the USAHA Board of Directors. During the conference, significant strides were made for the industry, including the creation of a USAHA farmed cervid sub-committee with a cervid leader as a co-chair. This marks the first time the cervid industry would have its own committee and a cervid leader would chair a committee. USAHA resolutions were introduced and approved to request to eliminate Brucellosis testing requirements for white-tail and mule deer.
The ACA Leadership Council is comprised of 32 deer and elk associations that choose to meet monthly to review industry issues and create solutions. The leadership council functions on a round-table format, with every association having an equal vote on all decisions made by the council. There are no dues or monetary requirement for associations to participate, the only requirement - work in good faith as a team with other cervid leaders.
Travis Lowe, the ACA Councilman representing the Kansas Cervid Breeders Association, said, “There’s something humbling about this team of such strong leaders working together across the board. Considering the ACA was organized just a year ago it is amazing what this group of leaders has done. We are seeing these state associations become even more active and informed because they now have a documented voice on the council.”