Member comments can be based on the comments below, submitted by TSCRA.
TSCRA’s Comments on Proposed Chronic Wasting Disease Rules
Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, Texas 78744
Dear Mr. Lockwood:
The Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) is a 144-year-old trade association and is the largest and oldest livestock organization based in Texas. TSCRA has more than 17,000 beef cattle operations, ranching families and businesses as members. These members represent approximately 55,000 individuals directly involved in ranching and beef production who manage 4 million head of cattle on 76 million acres of range and pastureland, primarily in Texas, Oklahoma and the Southwest.
TSCRA supports Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) proposed amendments to rules governing Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). It is our hope that these efforts will help curtail the spread of this debilitating disease in Texas. CWD not only reduces the number of cervid species available to hunters, but also harms the many Texas landowners who depend on hunting as a significant source of income.
Increased testing and permanent identification tags are two measures that we as cattle producers fully understand the value of. TSCRA has long supported equal or similar health practices and standards for combating wildlife diseases as those used in the cattle industry. In our own industry we are faced with more than fifteen different regulated cattle diseases. Regulations for these diseases require cattle producers to comply with movement restrictions, quarantines, testing requirements, permanent identification requirements, etc. that may seem burdensome and overbearing to some, but are crucial in protecting our livelihood. Protocols like these promote animal health and productivity, protect the marketability of beef products, and most importantly, they ensure consumers are receiving a safe and healthy product for their families.
Many of our members, along with countless other ranchers and landowners, are left vulnerable when deer are released without a CWD test or identification into areas where their detainment is not guaranteed. With the possibility of these animals coming onto adjacent properties, insurmountable damage to existing wildlife is all but certain. However, thanks to the increased testing prior to release and mandatory identification of these released species, we hope ranchers and landowners will be better protected from the spread of CWD.
Thank you for your continued vigilance to ensure the impacts of CWD are minimized for both Texas wildlife and Texas landowners. We also greatly appreciate the inclusion of Texas ranchers on the TPWD’s Chronic Wasting Disease Task Force. This collaboration between the State of Texas and private landowners will be essential to mitigate the crippling effects of CWD.
If you have any questions regarding these comments or TSCRA’s position, please contact Peyton Schumann at (512) 469-0171 or [email protected]
G. Hughes Abell