Unanimous Vote to Explore Legal Options Regarding CWD Standards

July 23, 2013

Council to Send Letter to USDA Labeling Standards as “Unacceptable”

The American Cervid Alliance met Tuesday to discuss the ongoing concerns of the Version 22 CWD Program Standards document. Version 22 is the product of the Standards Working Group that is currently being prepared for public comment.   

The council members discussed the list of concerns that were distributed last month.  Concerns discussed was the comparison between versions 18 and 22, unnecessary language regarding semen, 60 month quarantines, 60 month trace backs  with their possible consequences on the industry, among others. 

 Due to the high number of severe concerns the council voted to draft and send a letter to Dr John Clifford of the United States Department of Agriculture stating the alliance of 29 deer and elk associations consider this document unacceptable.   

The decision came by a motion from Gary Olson of the Minnesota Deer Breeders Association that asked for a letter to be sent on behalf of the ACA stating the document is not acceptable.  Olson stated, “Our industry met with the USDA for two hours every week for over six months and only 25% of what our cervid representatives and state veterinarians asked for was accepted.  It is our duty as elected leaders of our associations to protect our members from these over-reaching regulations.”  “We must go to Dr Clifford one more time to let him know this document is unacceptable.”

The Olson motion was adopted 16-0, including one proxy vote.  Richard Garrels of the Iowa Elk Breeders Association was the second on the motion.

After further discussion of possible next steps along the process, a second motion was made by Kim Kafka of the North American Elk Breeders Association, to explore legal options that exist in regard to the CWD Program Standards.  Kafka stated, “There is a lot wrong with this document. My NAEBA members and directors cannot accept this.  It’s terrible from top to bottom. We will send a letter with our concerns to Dr Clifford as stated earlier and take advantage of the 30 day public comment period but we need to start learning what our legal options are.   I would like to make a motion that we start exploring our legal options and bring answers for our next meeting.”

Curt Waldvogel commented during discussion, “both the CWD Program Standards and Rule are unacceptable and we have to do something about it. Our industry cannot afford this.”  Waldvogel voted in support of the Kafka motion.

The Kafka motion passed unanimously 16-0, including one proxy vote. Donald Hill of the Missouri Whitetail Deer and Hunting Ranch Association was the second on the motion.

The council will convene at the first of the month to address the legal options. 


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