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Message Title: High Risk Elk Restoration Projects
Author: Autry  Posted: 01\27\2007 14:38
Location: TN
Message:
A few years back, right after TWRA was allowed to import elk from Elk Island the first time that did not meet TN import requirements, I applied for importation from Elk Island as well. TWRA's request was approved by the TN Dept. of Ag.......MINE WAS NOT.

This just goes to prove what some of us have been saying all along. These ridiculous and unreasonable rules that have been force on us farmers the past 10 or 12 years is nothing more than a way to try and force us out of business and eliminate the competition for the wildlife agencies.

If disease was the real issue, wildlife agencies would have to meet the same rules and regulations that we do.

For cervid farmers to be able to sell one animal out of state, we have to test the whole herd for TB and have to be monitored for CWD for five years plus there can be NO CWD in the wild population close to our farm and yet wildlife agencies can move the same species without having to meet any of these rules and regulations.

Elk Island has NEVER had a whole herd test for TB, Brucellosis or anything else. This herd had Brucellosis and or TB in the late 50's or early 60's. This herd can not meet the CWD monitoring program requirements. This herd has CWD in wildlife about 100 miles away and yet they are still planning on importing these elk into the U.S. and then into TN and maybe WI and S.C.

These are wild elk and are not farm raised elk. The USDA import protocol clearly states that wild cervids are not eligible under this protocol. It also states that cervids that has ever had TB or Brucellosis in their herd is not eligible for import.

If these elk are allowed to be imported into the U.S., the USDA needs to add the following wording to their import protocol that says: THIS IMPORT PROTOCOL APPLIES ONLY TO FARMERS! WILDLIFE AGENCIES MAY IMPORT SICK OR DISEASED ANIMALS WITHOUT MEETING ANY TESTING OR MONITORING REQUIREMENTS!