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TWRA SCHEME TO IMPORT UNSAFE ELK EXPOSED BY USDA

TWRA SCHEME TO IMPORT UNSAFE ELK EXPOSED BY USDA

TWRA's scheme to bring in unsafe elk that did not meet TN's import regulations and did not meet the USDA import protocol for importation into the U.S. was stopped 2-8-07 when authorities realized that the animals did not meet the legal requirements for safe importation. This importation would have put the U.S. and TN's wildlife and livestock at risk for diseases such as TB and CWD.

*******************************************

Dr. Clifford,

I appreciate that you kept this shipment of elk from entering the U.S. due to the fact that they did not meet the USDA protocol.

With CWD having been diagnosed about 100 miles from this herd, it is a relief to know that they will not be allowed into TN

David L. Autry
http://www.AutryFarms.com

John.Clifford@aphis.usda.gov wrote:

Dear Mr. Autry-

This is in response to your emails. The Animal and Plant Health
Inspection Service (APHIS) has carefully evaluated Tennessee’s request
to import a herd of elk from Canada’s Elk Island. The situation was
complex and required careful scrutiny by our staff, as well as
discussions with animal health officials from the Canadian Food
Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Our regulations state that certain criteria must be met before animals
can be imported, and by mutual agreement with the CFIA, the U.S.
Department of Agriculture has requirements for the importation of
cervids from Canada. In this case, CFIA could not certify that the herd
of origin is tuberculosis negative, according to the provisions of the
CFIA captive ungulate program. In addition, the elk did not meet
requirements for continuous records of animal identification from time
of birth until export. Therefore, at this time, APHIS cannot approve
the importation of these animals.

APHIS has the responsibility to protect the health of our Nation’s
agriculture and natural resources. We appreciate your understanding as
we examined this situation.

Sincerely,

John R. Clifford
Deputy Administrator
Veterinary Services

David Autry
om> To
John.Clifford@aphis.usda.gov,
02/09/2007 06:04 ron.dehaven@aphis.usda.gov,
AM Allen.M.Knowles@aphis.usda.gov,
Andrea.M.Morgan@aphis.usda.gov,
Andrew.L.Malone@aphis.usda.gov,
Catherine.S.Fulton@aphis.usda.gov,
Jere.L.Dick@aphis.usda.gov,
Sharon.M.Coursey@aphis.usda.gov,
Beth.E.Gaston@aphis.usda.gov
cc
nick.todd@state.tn.us,
philip.gordon@state.tn.us,
Ron.Wilson@state.tn.us
Subject
TWRA's unsafe elk from Elk Island
in Alberta Canada

Dr. Clifford or anyone within the U.S.D.A.,

Has a decision been reached yet? If so, what was the decision?

David L. Autry

John.Clifford@aphis.usda.gov wrote:
David-

No decision has been made.

Sincerely,

John R. Clifford

David Autry
om> To
John.Clifford@aphis.usda.gov
02/03/2007 12:52 cc
PM ron.dehaven@aphis.usda.gov, Ron
Wilson ,
philip.gordon@state.tn.us, nick
todd ,
Allen.M.Knowles@aphis.usda.gov,
Jere Dick
,
Andrea.M.Morgan@aphis.usda.gov,
Sharon.M.Coursey@aphis.usda.gov,
"Ms. Catherine Fulton"

, "Mr. Andrew Malone"

Subject
Re: Fwd: elk from elk island

John,

As a taxpayer, I am disappointed that I have spent over six weeks
corresponding with you and your department about this issue and I don't
have any more answers now than I did when I started. Today I ask a simply
yes or no question and still no answer.

Dr. Luterbach, a C.F.I.A. employee, has already stated to me in one of his
phone calls over a week ago that these elk from Elk Island do not meet the
U.S.D.A. import protocol and in looking over the protocol, I can see
several areas where these elk do not qualify for importation into the
U.S.,
specifically 1.3, 2.d and 2.2.........please refer to my previous email
for
the details. Also there is the issue of no whole herd TB test.

I have been patient with your department but I now feel that I am wasting
my time as well as yours as your department has not been forthcoming with
any answers so I feel that I have exhausted all but one avenue of hope.

I feel that I have no other alternative but to seek an emergency
injunction
to prevent these elk from crossing the Canadian U.S. border because they
do
not meet the U.S.D.A. protocol and if these unsafe elk are allowed to be
imported and disease breaks out, it will be devastating to both the
wildlife and livestock in the states like WI, TN and any surrounding state
where these animals are released. As a farmer and a hunter, I can not sit
back and watch this happen.

These rules, regulations and protocols were put in place for a reason and
that was to ensure the safe movement of healthy animals to prevent the
spread of diseases and these should apply and be forced on all not just
some. Wildlife Agencies should not be allowed to import any animal that
does not meet all of the protocol.

Unless I hear from you or your department by noon Monday 2-5-07 stating
that this shipment of elk from Elk Island has been stopped and will not be
allowed to be imported into the U.S., I will assume that my concerns have
been ignored and that the U.S.D.A. is still considering these elk for
importation even though they do not meet all of the protocol and I will
then proceed accordingly.

Please do not take this as a personal attack on you as that is certainly
not my intentions. My actions will be taken as a result of your
department's inability to follow this protocol and the knowledge that your
department has ignored the many taxpayers who have contacted your
department with concerns of the possibility of these unsafe elk entering
the U.S.

Sincerely,
David L. Autry

John.Clifford@aphis.usda.gov wrote:
David,

I am not able to answer your question until we complete our discussions
here and with Canada.

Thanks,

John
--------------------------
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

----- Original Message -----
From: David Autry [elk4sale@yahoo.com]
Sent: 02/02/2007 12:06 PM
To: John.Clifford@aphis.usda.gov
Cc: ron.dehaven@aphis.usda.gov; Ron.Wilson@state.tn.us; Philip Gordon;
nick.todd@state.tn.us; Allen.M.Knowles@aphis.usda.gov
Subject: Re: Fwd: elk from elk island

Dr. Clifford,

Thanks for the quick reply late last night. It looks like you are working
overtime on this project.

I need a simply yes or no answer to just one question. Since I can see
from the USDA import protocol that there are four or five areas where the
Elk Island herd does not meet this protocol and since Dr. Luterbach, a
C.F.I.A. employee in Winnipeg Canada, has stated to me in his phone
conversation very recently that the Elk Island herd does not meet the
U.S.D.A. import protocol and since the U.S.D.A. is still reviewing the
records of this herd that Dr. Luterbach was asked by a U.S.D.A. official
to forward to the U.S.D.A., Is the U.S.D.A. considering the possibility of
allowing the importation of these elk from Elk Island even though they do
not and can not meet the U.S.D.A. import protocol?

I need the answer to this one question in order to know how to proceed so
if you could simply give me a yes or know answer to this question sometime
today, it would be appreciated.

Sincerely,
David L. Autry

John.Clifford@aphis.usda.gov wrote:
Mr. Autry,

Thank you for the email and we have noted your concerns. We are studying
the issue and will let you know when we have all the information and have
made a decision.

Thanks,

John Clifford.
--------------------------
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

----- Original Message -----
From: David Autry [elk4sale@yahoo.com]
Sent: 02/01/2007 06:08 PM
To: ron.dehaven@aphis.usda.gov; john.clifford@aphis.usda.gov
Cc: Ron.Wilson@state.tn.us; Philip Gordon; nick.todd@state.tn.us;
Allen.M.Knowles@aphis.usda.gov
Subject: Fwd: elk from elk island

Drs. Dehaven & Clifford,

It looks like the USDA is trying to qualify the elk island herd as a herd
equivalent to a herd that has had a whole herd test, probably for TB and
or Brucellosis.

Are you ignoring the other 3 or 4 areas where this herd does not meet the
USDA import protocol?

Below is the info why the Elk Island herd does not qualify for importation
into the U.S.

1. This is a wild herd and wild animals are not eligible for import under
this protocol.

2. While this may be a captive herd, it is not a captive farmed herd.

3. Animals from a herd where TB or Brucellosis has EVER been diagnosed are
not eligible for import under this protocol.

4. With a fence height of 2.2 meters and with animals coming and going
over the fence, is this truly a captive herd?

5. Animals from this herd can not meet the requirement of continuous
identification records of animals from birth to export.

Please read below!

David L. Autry

*****************************

Dr. Taniewski,

Will the information listed below stop the importation from Elk Island?

2. CERTIFICATION STATEMENTS

(d) The herd of origin does not contain animals from any herd where
tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis), or brucellosis (Brucella abortus) has
ever been diagnosed.

http://64.233.161.104
/search?q=cache:ybgnvsxpzdIJ:www.montana.edu/~wwwcbs/tbbib.html+elk+island+tb&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=1

7. Choquette, L.P.E., J.F. Gallivan, J.L. Byrne & J. Pilipavicius. 1961.
Parasites and diseases of bison in Canada I. Tuberculosis and some other
pathological conditions in bison at Wood Buffalo and Elk Island National
Parks in the fall and winter of 1959-1960. Can. Vet. J. 2: 168-174.
Tuberculosis and some other pathological conditions in bison at Wood
Buffalo and Elk Island National Parks in the fall and winter of 1959-1960
are discussed. In 1959, 1,116 animals were tested with bovine tuberculin
and 151 or 13.5% showed a positive reaction. There were 436 animals
slaughtered, and 219 or 50.2% showed tuberculous lesions, and 168 or 76.7%
of these showed evidence of infection in the lymph nodes of the head.
Metritis was noted in 9 animals, 7 of which were tested with tuberculin
and 3 tested positive. Eleven cases of orchitis were recorded in bulls.
Nine of these had been tested for brucellosis (rapid serum agglutination
technique) and 7 tested positive.

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/pagerender.fcgi?artid=1680143&pageindex...

page #120

In 1947 and later, Brucellosis was diagnosed in bison from Elk Island.

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/pagerender.fcgi?artid=1585688&pageindex=1

page #168

Elk Island is an area of about 75 square miles.

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/pagerender.fcgi?artid=1585688&pageindex...

page #171

Arthritis, actinobacillosis, coelosomian & pyemia.....Hepatic lesions at
Elk Island

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/pagerender.fcgi?artid=1585688&pageindex...

page #172

orchitis & brucella

********************************************
Dr. Taniewski,

Since Elk Island is so large, about 75 square miles, and since the animals
that are confined there are wild and free to roam over this vast area and
since the animals live off what the land provides, it is my opinion that
these animals do not meet the term captive farmed. Am I correct to assume
that? Canadian officials refer to this herd as a wild herd and rule #1.3
states that: Animals born in the wild are ineligible for entry under this
protocol.

1.3 Cervids described on the health certificate are all captive farmed.
Animals born in the wild are ineligible for entry under this protocol.
Properly identified cervids under 6 months of age, traveling at the side
of their dam, are exempted from the test requirements.

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/pagerender.fcgi?artid=1585688&pageindex=1

page #168
Elk Island is an area of about 75 square miles.

*******************************************
Dr. Taniewski,

Is the Elk Island herd truly a captive herd? Animals seem to be able to
freely come and go.

http://www.naturescapes.net/perspective/alberta.htm

The bison, elk, and moose are confined in the park by a 2.2 meter fence
encircling the entire park boundary. Bison and elk are managed by the park
staff, and numbers are occasionally sold off to control the population, as
there are no large predators, such as wolves or bears, in the park. The
moose population is controlled mainly by disease. Deer are able to leap
the fence and so can come and go.

http://www.booneandcrockettclub.com/news/trophyWatch_detail.asp?area=new...

A picture of a Moose jumping over the Elk Island fence which is only 2.2
meters high. Deer and other wildlife commonly come and go over the fence.

******************************************
Dr. Taniewski,

How can an enclosure as large as Elk Island meet the following rule?

2.2 Continuous records of animal identification and herds of residence of
the animal being exported from the time of birth until export were
verified.

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/pagerender.fcgi?artid=1585688&pageindex=1

page #168
Elk Island is an area of about 75 square miles

Note: forwarded message attached.
__________________________________________________
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http://mail.yahoo.com CC: shelly@nadefa.org,
Date: Mon,
From: David
Subject: elk
To: ron.dehaven@aphis.usda.gov,

Doctors Dehaven and Clifford,

I just spoke to Dr. Luterbach with the CFIA in Winnipeg MB CA by phone and
he admitted that the elk from the Elk Island herd in Alberta CA do not
meet the USDA protocol for importation into the U.S. for several reasons
but that the CFIA had forwarded information about the herd to the USDA and
that the USDA is considering the possibility of allowing elk from this
herd to be imported into the U.S. even though they do not meet the USDA
protocol for importation.

Is this true?

Sincerely,
David L. Autry

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