Cervid Industry Leaders Meet for CWD Summit

May 8, 2017

 
 
 
Ten national cervid leaders convened in Denver for a CWD retreat on April 19, 2017. This was not a symposium like the recent ones in Texas and Saskatchewan but a brainstorming session among several national leaders representing CWD susceptible species from the United States and Canada. 
 
The purpose of the retreat was to define the industry's position on the perceived future of CWD policy and work toward that goal together. Industry leaders agreed if all the national and state/provincial associations were asked for their perceived goal for CWD policy, there would most likely be over a dozen different answers.  This is a problem if the industry wants meaningful reform.
 
The cervid industry spends a great deal of time and money on CWD policy and research.  As far as regulations, the industry needs to consider what they want CWD policy to look like now, next year and in five to ten years from now.  The industry needs to agree on a targeted destination. Otherwise, industry associations are going in different directions with conflicting messages to legislators and policy makers. Thus, less success.
 
It is important American and Canadian cervid industries have similar goals for CWD policy. Otherwise, CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) and USDA APHIS use the other agency's rules to prevent reform.  Furthermore, the different CWD species have their own nuances with policy too. Ante-Mortem testing brings a whole other realm of questions.  The recent work in Texas on ante-mortem testing in the last two years is historic. 
  
Representatives at the retreat covered all CWD susceptible species in both nations. All regions of the continent were represented. The meeting agenda focused on global policy on the USDA federal CWD rule and program standards, responses to CWD discovery, and research.
 
To yield true industry sentiment, the brainstorming session was closed to only industry representatives without the government intervention. After industry produced an outline of goals, Dr. Keith Roehr, who serves as the State Veterinarian of Colorado, and his assistant Mr. Wayne East, joined the group to review the ideas and offer valuable input as a regulatory official with years of experience in a CWD state with an active cervid industry. 
 
The participants of the meeting are as follows:
Whitetail Deer: 
Glen Dice- Pennsylvania Deer Farmers Association, 
Shawn Schafer- North American Deer Farmers Association, Laurie Seale- Whitetails of Wisconsin, 
Patrick Tarlton- Texas Deer Association, 
Skip West- North American Deer Farmers Association
 
Exotic Deer: Charly Seale- Exotic Wildlife Association
 
Elk: 
Andy Azcarraga- North American Elk Breeders Association, Travis Lowe- North American Elk Breeders Association,
Eric Mohlman- North American Elk Breeders Association,
Ian Thorleifson- North American Elk Breeders Association.
 
The full report will be shared with the American Cervid Alliance Leadership Council and discussed on the council meeting conference call on May 16th. Councilmen will be responsible for distributing the report to their own association boards for feedback.


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