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Chairmen of committees have a lot of power. They are appointed by the majority party.

At the end of our Tuesday morning Agricultural Affairs Committee meeting the chairman announced he would be bringing a rule before us for consideration at the next meeting Thursday morning. He said the rule had to do with importing domestic elk.

Last year we had fought in this committee over rules that affected domestic elk ranchers. This year the chairman is different but the members of the committee are the same. That fight had been ugly with lots of public testimony. You will not know the back story to this issue unless you study the links I have attached.

I looked for the agenda to study up on the rule and the bigger issue before the meeting. I have learned you can’t always rely on the testimony that is presented to get the full story. The agenda was only put out Wednesday afternoon with no link to the specific rule so I could not prepare.

The chairman presented his perspective on the issue. There is a rule (page 19, 02.04.21 600.01) in place that requires elk imported intoIdahoto be immunized against Brucellosis within 30 days of entry. There is another rule (page 19, 02.04.21 601.01)  that required elk to be treated for liver fluke parasites at least 60 days and not less than 29 days before entry. So that just gave importers just one day to do both treatments if they were going to just handle their animals once. Our chairman was asking our committee to adopt a concurrent resolution that would eliminate the rule requiring treatment for the liver fluke.

I asked the state Department of Agriculture veterinarian if this would put our wild herds at risk for infestation with this parasite. He didn’t know. We had no one else there to testify.

The motion for the resolution passed. I knew we only had three votes to beat it, but it was the process, the self interest, the ethics that galled me. I had both unanswered questions and a bad taste.

We have asked the chairman to return the issue to the committee for a full hearing. He is considering our request.

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About ddxdx

A Family physician in the Idaho State Senate
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