Aquatic livestock alliance


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1 Exists for the purpose of promoting the interstate commerce of aquatic livestock - Since 2007 -

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Why can’t we move farm-raised fish like other livestock? WI Fish Farmer - 2007 2

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Farm Commodities are not only controlled by US Code and State Laws but also by International Trade Agreements. 3

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In the beginning – (Articles of Confederation – Failed) Constitution – Art. 1, Sect. 1. All legislative Powers …..shall be vested in a Congress ….. Constitution – Art. 1, Sect. 8. The Congress shall ….“regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;”…….. 4

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In the beginning (continued) – State Rights to Police - (protect) citizens and property. i.e. IA Veterinary Practice Act 169.2 “This chapter is enacted as an exercise of the police powers of the state to promote the public health, safety, and welfare by safeguarding the people of this state against incompetent, dishonest, or unprincipled practitioners of veterinary medicine…” 5

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In the beginning (continued) – State Rights to Police - (protect) citizens and property. i.e. 225 ILCS 115/ Veterinary Med & Surg Practice Act of 2004. "Animal" means any animal, vertebrate or invertebrate, other than a human. “Practice of veterinary medicine" means the performance of one or more of the following: (1) ….. consulting, diagnosing, prognosing, correcting, supervising, or recommending treatment of an animal for the prevention, cure, or relief of a …., disease, ……… by any method or mode. 5) Determining the health and fitness of an animal. 6

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How does Federally regulated livestock commerce and State right to police citizens meet and maintain control of animal disease? Animal Health Protection Act (AHPA) – Congress authorized (legislated) Secretary of Ag may create a system to accredit state licensed veterinarians. Title 9 Code of Federal Regulations (9 CFR) – Accredited (state-licensed) veterinarians conduct certain duties on behalf of the USDA (federal regulation of commerce) to certify animals moved in interstate commerce. 7

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International Trade Agreements General Agreement on Trade And Tariffs URUGUAY ROUND completed in 1994 Created: GATT WTO SPS SPS = Sanitary & Phytosanitary Agreement United States signed the GATT. US Congress enacted Uruguay Round Agreements Act , Pub. L. 103-465, 108 Stat. 4809 (1994), 19 USC § 3501. 8

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Background: The Aquatic Livestock Commerce Forum Des Moines, IA - Nov. 2007 Delegations invited from 14 States: NY, PA, MI, OH, IN, IL, WI, MN, IA, MO, KS, NE, SD, ND The invited Delegations were State Veterinarians, Natural Resource Agcs, Accredited Veterinarians, Private Producers, Public Producers APHIS declined the invitation to help. 9

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Top 3 Findings of Forum: Great inconsistency in the Authorities, Laws, Regulations, and Policies that govern aquatic livestock– 27 years after enactment of the National Aquaculture Act to correct problem. Un-authorized certification was accepted for livestock movement. Lack of standard testing methods for aquatic livestock. 10

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Problem #1: No Single Competent Authority- APHIS decisions/communications/actions = ??? APHIS - the only Livestock Regulator for the USA. APHIS cannot delegate or negotiate or legislate its disease control/livestock authority to other Federal or State Agencies. APHIS contains the Chief Veterinary Officer OIE definition = Veterinary Services 11

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Problem #2: Un-Authorized Certification System AHPA authorized USDA to accredit veterinarians USDA can only authorize accredited veterinarians APHIS allows vets and fish pathologists, etc.??? Fish Pathologist ≠ Accredited Veterinarian OIE definition = Authorized by Authority 12

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Problem #2 (continued): Un-Authorized Certification System IA Animal Industry Act – CVI by Accredited Vet IA Natural Resources – Fish Health Report by certified Fish Pathologist OIE definition = Authorized by Authority 13

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Problem #2 (continued): Un-Authorized Certification System IL Diseased Animals Act – CVI by Accredited Veterinarian IL Conservation Act - IL DNR recognizes anyone utilizing the AFS Blue Book as competent to diagnose fish diseases. OIE definition = Authorized by Authority 14

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Problem #2 (continued): Un-Authorized Certification System MI Animal Industry Act – “A person shall not import aquaculture into this state without ……. issued by an accredited veterinarian MN Aquatic Farm…..Regulations - only certified Fish Pathologist Are fish being legally moved between MN & MI??? OIE definition = Authorized by Authority 15

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Problem #3a: No Single Testing Standard for Aquatic Livestock OIE standard = 150 fish/farm twice each year. American Fisheries Soc. (AFS) standard= 60 fish/lot. A Lot is same species, year class, water body, enclosure. Developed for wild fish testing. Farms can have hundreds of lots by AFS standard. APHIS allows for either – Many States require AFS??? OIE definition = Competent Authority Standard 16

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Problem #3b: No Testing Method for Aquatic Livestock No biosecurity credit for farms OIE is calculated by “epidemiological units” AFS is calculated by specified “lots” OIE definition = Testing + Biosecurity, etc. 17

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Problem #3c: Lack of Humane Testing for Aquatic Livestock Excessive animal sacrifice for testing livestock Unnecessary testing levels on biosecure farms OIE definition = Animal Welfare (to reduce, refine, replace) 18

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Problem #4: Lack of Health Info / Regulations Distribution APHIS required by AHPA and 9 CFR to distribute animal health info to Accredited Veterinarians, etc. No health info distributed thru AVIC’s and State Vets to Accredited Veterinarians. Inaccurate information thru APHIS website. OIE Definition = CVO distributes information 19

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Problem #5: Lack of modern efficient testing assays No validated test procedure but Tissue Culture declared historical Standard. 28 days for most viral pathogen results 30 days certification from inspection ≠ practical Insufficient funding, research, and surveillance OIE Definition = Comp. Authority protects 20

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Problem #6: Lack of disease control efforts by watersheds May affect Field VMO’s to reorganize districts when doing aquatic livestock epidemiology. (Not a problem if collaborate but can be time cost) Even State Natural Resource Agencies are not organized by watersheds but by political divisions such as counties. OIE Definition = Epidemiology 21

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Problem #7: Lack of disease surveillance activity to reduce testing Lack of environmental and eco-system testing Lack of communication from DNRs and Fish Health Diagnostic Laboratories to Ag for NAHRS (National Animal Health Reporting System) monthly reporting OIE Definition = Epidemiology 22

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Problem #8: Lack of State support & protection enjoyed by other livestock industries. Many State Veterinarians (Ag Dept.) shun Some State DNR’s see aquatic livestock as competitors or worse as threats. Most State DNR’s don’t see themselves as aquatic livestock producers. 23

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Problem #8: (continued) Lack of State support & protection enjoyed by other livestock industries. MI AQUACULT. DEV. ACT Act 199 of 1996  286.874 Aquaculture as agricultural enterprise;…. Sec. 4. (1) Aquaculture is an agricultural enterprise and ….. The director shall assure that aquaculture is afforded all rights, privileges, opportunities, and responsibilities of other agricultural enterprises. Why does MI say there are no indemnity funds for aquatic livestock but has for other livestock ? 24

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Problem #8: (continued) Lack of State support & protection enjoyed by other livestock industries. MN AQUA. DEV. ACT  - 17.4981 (b) Private aquatic life ……. is an article of interstate commerce and may be restricted only as necessary to protect state fish and water resources. Not testing instate fish – why imported livestock? Not applied uniformly to all livestock commerce? 25

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Definitions: Competent Authority =Veterinary Services Competent Authority = is the single authority: in a country that gathers and distributes animal health information to OIE. in a country that receives and distributes information from OIE. Chief Veterinary Officer - head of USDA-APHIS-Veterinary Services 26

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Co-Competent Authorities = Regulatory Gridlock APHIS has continued the regulatory vacuum that other Agencies attempt to fill – in fact guard. However, the complications of so many Agencies at so many levels are complicating and destructive for the Aquatic Livestock Industry including private practitioners accredited by APHIS. 27

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Definitions: Livestock =Any animal removed from its natural elements and supported by human intervention. Livestock = aka “any farm-raised animal”-AHPA Farm-raised = Animal Husbandry Practices Anim. Husb. Practices = Life support by man-kind Life Support = Feed/Water, Breeding, Predation Control, Aeration (Ventilation), Shelter, Transportation, …….. 28

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Perspective: Part of the current misunderstanding about “livestock” arises from a misconception that ‘animals captured from the wild are not domestic animals’. For disease control, livestock >> domestic animals FACT: AHPA defines livestock in such a way that Natural Resource Agencies are moving livestock to be released into the wild. 29

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Conclusions: Our Trade Agreements are not going to permit us to continue our status quo. The U.S. has lost the European market for shellfish due to the problems enumerated above. OIE is tolerant of third-world countries w/o veterinary infrastructure. OIE is not tolerant of countries w/ veterinary infrastructure utilizing agencies w/o veterinary infrastructure. 30

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Conclusions: For an effective administrative national health program - Producers, Accredited Veterinarians, State Veterinarians, State and Federal Agencies must recognize the importance of a singular regulatory authority over all interstate movement of aquatic livestock. 31

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Solution #1: Recognize USDA as the authority for interstate commerce to control disease. Solution #2: Re-align our national animal health and certification standards with the International Standard and goals. 32

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Solution #3: Align with OIE – one epidemiological - humane Standard Solution #4: Demand Secretary of Agriculture to protect all American Agriculture. Solution #5: Engage USDA – APHIS to develop test assays 33

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Solution #6: USDA – APHIS must collect – report disease info Solution #7: Support USDA – APHIS to conduct surveillance to support reduced testing of aquatic livestock 34

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Aquatic livestock industry and veterinarians and regulators must modernize: to reduce the test sample burden to reduce test result time to reduce test frequency with biosecurity plans to reduce confusion of multiple authorities to reduce testing requirement inconsistency to reduce veterinary practitioner liability 35

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Vision of the ALA is: to resolve conflicts and problems in aquatic livestock commerce by alignment with our National Laws and International Trade Agreements. to regulate pathogens on a watershed basis to utilize effective and modern test assays to adapt efficient livestock testing methods to replace wildlife testing methods 36

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Vision of the ALA for aquatic livestock commerce is: to align with our US Laws and Trade Agreements to have a single, universal certification standard to prevent any pathogen or foreign animal disease from entering the US. to prepare against the threat of any pathogen or foreign animal disease expanding beyond its point of entry. 37

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What to do with the present situation? Define what the actual requirements are at International, Federal, and State levels. One Competent National Authority Support Veterinary Accreditation as requirement of trade agreements and intent of Congress for all livestock! 38

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Déjà vu: Consequently, as states attempted to enforce their own regulations, inconsistencies between states' requirements created additional problems. Not only were they enforced erratically, but, states resented each other's quarantines. This prompted veterinarians and ranchers to push for a nationally regulated solution. In 1886 the Supreme Court ruled in the Wabash case that only the federal government could regulate interstate commerce. In 1887, Congress passed the Interstate Commerce Act. - accessed on February 5, 2009 39

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Promoting Aquatic Livestock Commerce - Since 2007 - Board of Directors: Mr. Danny Longnecker, President Mr. Robert Baldwin, Sec-Treasurer Dr. Tony Forshey – Director-at-Large Dr. David Starling – Director-at-Large This presentation contains no legal advice. !t is intended only to stimulate the reader's interest in legal issues which are of interest to ALA. If you need legal advice, you should get it from someone qualified to dispense it. 40

Tags: aquatic livestock aquaculture fish law commerce interstate regulations veterinary certification