Animal Health

ANIMAL HEALTH COMMITTEE

Tim Erbele, Chairman

Dennis Jacobson, Vice Chairman

 

20-Resolution passed in 2020

19-Resolution passed in 2019

18-Resolution passed in 2018

 

AVAILABILITY OF FOOD ANIMAL VETERINARIAN GRADUATES - 20 (AH)

WHEREAS, there is a significant shortfall in the number of food-animal veterinarian graduates to service the livestock production areas of the United States; and

WHEREAS, livestock producers rely on their local veterinarians for guidance to en­sure food product safety, herd management and disease control; and

WHEREAS, animal welfare issues and the increasing public scrutiny of humane care and management of livestock are closely related to emergency veterinary attention; and

WHEREAS, the physical nature of the work, as well as accrued indebtedness, tends to divert many capable graduate veterinarians away from food-animal practice; and

WHEREAS, the increased complexity of pharmaceutical and biological product use re­quires veterinarian supervision; and

WHEREAS, because veterinarian practice can involve long travel distances and extended absence from clinics in rural areas, a demand for multi-veterinarian-staffed clinics is creat­ed.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA encourages colleges of veterinary medicine to vigorously pursue recruiting and training students with the aptitude and desire to fill the increasing void of food-animal vet­erinarians.

        THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RE­SOLVED, that even though the NDSA recog­nizes the importance of scholastic excellence, it also recommends an attempt be made to identify a process of recruitment that selects individuals with skills and physical capabili­ties in addition to academics.

 

CATTLEMEN’S STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE - 20 (AH)

WHEREAS, cattlemen believe in humane treatment of livestock and good stewardship of natural resources; and

WHEREAS, this message needs to be com­municated to the public; and

WHEREAS, the public is entitled to cred­ible statements from actual producers regard­ing the practices, intents and purposes of live­stock production.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA endorses the principles of good animal husbandry, responsible environmental stew­ardship and food safety and continues to com­municate this on an ongoing basis.

 

PROFESSIONAL STUDENT EXCHANGE PROGRAM - 20 (AH)

WHEREAS, the Professional Student Ex­change Program is dependent on the Board of Higher Education for funding; and

WHEREAS, there continues to be more students applying for veterinary school loans with less funding available.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA supports the Professional Student Ex­change Program and encourages the Board of Higher Education to continue its support with adequate funding or to consider an alternate program of equal benefit.

 

PROTECTION FROM FOREIGN ANIMAL DISEASES - 20 (AH)

WHEREAS, protecting the U.S. cattle in­dustry is a major priority for the NDSA; and

WHEREAS, foreign animal diseases could cause a widespread quarantine and possible massive depopulation of the U.S. cattle herd, thus compromising national security and jeop­ardizing the U.S. beef supply; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Agri­culture (USDA) is responsible for regulating the importation of live cattle, beef and beef products from foreign countries into the Unit­ed States; and

WHEREAS, it is imperative that USDA in­spection of live cattle, beef, beef products and related animal products be effective and of the highest quality to ensure the health and eco­nomic success of the U.S. cattle industry; and

WHEREAS, some foreign countries with significant chronic animal diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease, have petitioned the USDA to import live cattle, beef and/or beef products into the United States; and

WHEREAS, the USDA’s ability to accu­rately evaluate the risk of animal diseases in these foreign countries can be uncertain and inconclusive.

        THERFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA opposes the importation of live cat­tle, beef and/or beef products into the United States from foreign countries with significant chronic animal diseases and lack of strict ani­mal disease control and eradication measures.

       THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RE­SOLVED, the NDSA supports independent, transparent, scientific, legal and economic analyses of USDA proposals, risk assessments and supporting information with full access by stakeholders to substantiate risk levels of imported live cattle, beef and/or beef products and assure the protection of the U.S. cattle in­dustry.

          THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RE­SOLVED, the NDSA urges USDA to include U.S. cattle industry stakeholders in any ne­gotiations with foreign countries relating to efforts that may affect the health of the U.S. cattle industry and provide the U.S. cattle in­dustry opportunities to comment on new pro­cedures for developing risk analyses for any foreign country wishing to export live cattle beef and/or beef products into the United States.

          THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RE­SOLVED, USDA protocols be substantiated by sound, scientific evidence and that ani­mal-health-related regulations are to be used for animal disease control, not as non-tariff trade barriers.

 

VETERINARY DIAGNOSTIC LABORATORY - 20 (AH)

WHEREAS, animal disease surveillance diagnosis is an important part of good man­agement and herd health for North Dakota beef cattle producers; and

WHEREAS, the North Dakota State Uni­versity (NDSU) Veterinary Diagnostic Labo­ratory plays a critical role in disease surveil­lance and diagnosis for North Dakota beef cattle producers.

         THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA supports efforts to develop a plan to support increased funding to develop new programs, support staff and technology needs and to solicit the support of allied stakeholders to support future needs of the NDSU Veteri­nary Diagnostic Laboratory.

 

VET SCHOOL LOANS - 20 (AH)

WHEREAS, there is a growing shortage of food-animal/large-animal veterinarians in North Dakota; and

WHEREAS, North Dakota does not have a school of veterinary medicine and must rely upon other states to provide veterinary educa­tion to North Dakota students; and

        WHEREAS, tuition to schools of veteri­nary medicine is extremely expensive and the revenue that can be generated in a food-ani­mal/large-animal practice in a rural area is generally much less than what could be ex­pected in a metropolitan, small-animal setting.

        THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA encourages the State of North Dako­ta and Board of Higher Education to provide greater incentive through various programs to provide more funding for veterinary school loans to North Dakota students and tuition reimbursement upon returning to the state to practice in food-animal/large-animal clinics.

 

ANIMAL DISEASE TRACEABILITY - 19 (AH)

WHEREAS, the NDSA recognizes that protecting the health of North Dakota’s beef cattle herd now and in the future will be im­portant in maintaining strong domestic and international markets; and

WHEREAS, the NDSA understands that accurate and efficient disease detection and control are part of protecting herd health and the viability of the cattle industry; and

        WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Agri­culture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will prohibit the use and manufacture of the metal tags by Jan. 1, 2021, and will require all sexually intact animals to have RFID tags for interstate transport by Jan 1, 2023; and

         WHEREAS, many questions remain about the impending changes to the ADT program, including the cost to grassroots cattle produc­ers and auction markets, the technology that will be required, the confidentiality of pro­ducer information and the ability of electronic tagging systems to perform in North Dakota’s extreme weather conditions and at the speed of commerce; and

          WHEREAS, this unfunded government mandate will impose an extra cost and labor burden on cattle producers and could have other negative economic ramifications if not rolled out effectively.

          THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA demands that APHIS address the in­dustry’s cost, technology, confidentiality and performance concerns before requiring the changes to the ADT program and continue to use existing identification systems, such as brand inspection records and other existing tools, as the foundation for its traceability sys­tem; and

          THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RE­SOLVED, the NDSA insists that APHIS cover the costs of the electronic tags and related in­frastructure required to fulfill its ADT require­ments.

 

ELK - 19 (AH)

WHEREAS, elk, which were introduced into North Dakota by releasing them in The­odore Roosevelt National Park and on the Fort Berthold Reservation, have overpopulat­ed their range and are escaping onto private lands; and

WHEREAS, they are large, grazing an­imals comparable to cattle and horses and are destructive to fences, growing crops and stored feed supplies; and

WHEREAS, elk are known possible carri­ers of brucellosis and other infectious diseases to both domestic elk and livestock.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, all ap­propriate actions be enforced to prevent es­cape, overproduction or release.

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RE­SOLVED, the NDSA opposes any release of elk onto the federal, state or private lands of North Dakota.

 

TERRORISM - 19 (AH)

WHEREAS, intentional destructive ele­ments have tremendous and terminal impacts on life and business; and

WHEREAS, those who are involved in such acts need to be held accountable.

       THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that any malicious acts of biological, chemical, nuclear and/or any other comparable act against agri­culture be considered a felony act, and laws be enacted on both state and federal levels to re­flect the seriousness of such acts and provide for the appropriate punishment.

 

VETERINARY TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM - 19 (AH)

WHEREAS, veterinary technicians provide important and vital animal care for North Da­kota livestock producers.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA supports increased funding for facili­ties, equipment and operation of this program.

 

WILDLIFE DEPREDATION - 19 (AH)

BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA works with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department and all other wildlife agencies to resolve ex­cessive problems of depredation when appro­priate.

 

DISEASE ERADICATION - 18 (AH)

        WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Agri­culture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) has implied there is a lack of federal funding to continue the na­tional tuberculosis (TB) and brucellosis eradi­cation programs that have been successful for several decades; and

WHEREAS, the continued prevalence of TB and brucellosis in the United States in both domestic livestock and wildlife poses a signif­icant public health and animal health risk.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA requests that USDA-APHIS continue to fund eradication and indemnification pro­grams for TB and brucellosis.

        THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RE­SOLVED, that industry and state animal health officials fully participate in the struc­ture of any new program or changes to the current program and that any program chang­es allow states to retain the authority to im­plement testing requirements to protect their livestock and wildlife populations.

 

DISEASE SURVEILLANCE - 18 (AH)

WHEREAS, an awareness, surveillance and responsive communication program is es­sential as a first line of defense for all foreign animal diseases, brucellosis and tuberculosis.

      THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA strongly urges that animal disease sur­veillance and responsiveness should receive the highest priority by both federal and state animal health agencies and personnel. Emer­gency procedures for assuring maximum co­operation between federal and state agencies should be clearly and expeditiously estab­lished.

        THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RE­SOLVED, the NDSA urges increased em­phasis by the organizers of programs for con­tinuing education of veterinarians, producers, agribusiness personnel and law enforcement agencies by including coverage of foreign animal diseases and the potential threat to do­mestic livestock.

 

JOHNE’S DISEASE PROGRAM - 18 (AH)

WHEREAS, the Board of Animal Health has implemented a program to assist produc­ers in testing and identifying Johne’s-positive cattle in their herds; and

WHEREAS, funds are made available to producers who implement the Johne’s pro­gram; and

WHEREAS, under existing guidelines, there is a requirement that animals that test positive to an antigen-detection test when they are sold go directly to slaughter with no chance of re-entering another producer’s herd.

         THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA’s continued support of the Johne’s pro­gram be contingent on safeguards being put into place that give assurance that producers receiving government funds for this program are responsible for these animals going to slaughter.

 

VET SCHOOL FUNDING - 18 (AH)

WHEREAS, the current shortage of large-animal veterinarians in rural areas is a problem; and

WHEREAS, North Dakota has entered into an agreement with Kansas State University for an additional five to 10 students annually; and

WHEREAS, the increase in positions will enhance our opportunity to send North Dakota students to vet school, which would increase chances of them returning to practice in North Dakota; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA supports additional funding to pursue these contracts.

        THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RE­SOLVED, the NDSA pursues legislation to maintain agreements with Iowa State Uni­versity, the University of Minnesota and colleges of veterinary medicine at West­ern-Interstate-Commission-for-Higher-Ed­ucation-participating universities similar to the agreement with Kansas State University regarding veterinary student seats.

       THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RE­SOLVED, the NDSA pursues legislation to ensure that at least five students per year are funded at Kansas State University, as well as any other positions and agreements available with other veterinary schools.

 

WINTER GRAZING - 18 (AH)

WHEREAS, the NDSA supports humane and practical handling of livestock; and

WHEREAS, many citizens in North Dako­ta are misinformed of the practice of winter grazing of cattle and horses.

       THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA works with the Agricultural Research Services facility in Mandan, the North Da­kota State University Extension Service, the North Dakota State University Animal Sci­ence Department, North Dakota law enforce­ment agencies, the North Dakota Veterinary Medical Association and North Dakota Board of Animal Health to educate ag media, main­stream media and the public that winter graz­ing of cattle and horses, when done properly, is a time-proven, humane, economical and practical management choice.

 
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