NAEBA Lobbies to Defend Idaho Elk Industry
February 13, 2015
BOISE, ID- Earlier this week, representatives from the North American Elk Breeders Association converged on the Idaho state capitol to discuss opening elk importation from eastern states.
NAEBA Past-President Kim Kafka and industry veteran Becky Mesaros traveled from Montana to attend several legislative hearings and meetings with key officials. Mesaros, a former president of the Montana Alternative Livestock Producers, has worked alongside Kafka on legislative issues pertaining to elk for almost two decades. They joined leaders of the Idaho Elk Breeders Association that share the same goal of opening Idaho’s borders for importing elk from states east of the 100th meridian. Currently, Idaho is one of the only states with an elk industry that does not allow this.
Hearings are underway with robust debate from both sides. Opposition of the change, which mostly consists of close allies of the state wildlife agency, say the move will put Idaho at risk by citing concerns of the meningeal worm. NAEBA and IEBA representatives, however, say the wildlife agencies are playing political games to impose crippling rules. The meningeal worm is considered a dead-end host in elk and thereby not a threat. Other mountain states have allowed the elk importation as long as the elk have been administered a de-worming treatment prior to movement.
“This is big for the elk industry,” said Kafka. “NAEBA and IEBA stand together on this. Other elk states like Colorado, New Mexico and Montana allow this, as well as the other six states split by the 100th meridian. It’s only a threat to people that do not like elk ranching.”
NAEBA is committed to being the voice of elk ranchers and securing sound relief on unnecessary regulations in the United States and Canada. NAEBA encourages all elk owners to support the organization that works to protects their interests.