SENATE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES, AGRICULTURE, SALMON AND WATER

 

 

February 14, 2001   Hearing Room B

8:00 am Tapes  30 - 32

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Sen. Ken Messerle, Chair

Sen. Frank Shields, Vice-Chair

Sen. Jason Atkinson

Sen. Roger Beyer

Sen. Ginny Burdick

Sen. Ryan Deckert

Sen. Bill Fisher

 

MEMBER EXCUSED:

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Jennifer Solomon, Committee Administrator

Cheryl Young, Committee Assistant

 

 

MEASURE/ISSUES HEARD:            SB 315, Public Hearing and Possible Work Session

                                                SB 41, Public Hearing

LC 3309, Work Session

LC 3310, Work Session

LC 3311, Work Session

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 30, A

005

Chair Messerle

Opens meeting at 8:04. Opens Public Hearing on SB 315.

SB 315, PUBLIC HEARING

012

Staff

Summarizes SB 315

031

Sen. R. Beyer

States that he and Mr. Stone have been working together on the issue, and feels that the Christmas tree producers of Oregon have decided that it’s important that the Christmas tree growers are exempt for what they grow and not for how they grow it.  Mr. Stone and the department have agreed with that, but they also think they should be exempt for how it’s grown, so they’ve decided to be exempt in both areas under forest tree species and operations.

039

Charlie Stone

Oregon Department of Forestry discusses the amendment drafted by and shared with Ms Solomon. The department is in agreement with Sen. Beyer to the concerns about Christmas tress, putting them in both places. The initial effort was to restore the word ‘commercial’ in the definition of operation. With those changes it is their hope that the committee will move the bill out.

045

Chair Messerle

Notes that another draft of the amendment coming in and the next time it comes up, it’s the committee’s intention to pass it out. Closes Public Hearing on SB 315. Opens Public Hearing on SB 41.

SB 41 PUBLIC HEARING

048

Staff

Summarizes SB 41

056

Sen. Tom Hartung

Speaks in favors of SB 41. States that he sees it as a chance to expand our natural resource base, in farming particularly. Discusses some concerns that he has regarding Mad Cow Disease and it’s effect on the beef industry. States that there is no evidence that MCD can be transmitted from the chronic waste disease in deer and elk. States that he is really concerned about the fact it could be possible because the chronic wasting disease is relatively new. Asks that the committee determine if the chronic wasting disease in deer and elk have any potential of being transferred to bovine, beef cattle, and MCD.

115

Chair

Do you feel confident that the concerns you have can be managed?

116

Sen. Hartung

Agrees. Expands on response. 

131

Sen. Burdick

Comments that he stated that there weren’t any reports of people being affected by the human variant.  Recalls a news story about hunter coming down with the disease. Asks if he recalls this?

136

Sen. Hartung

Yes, asks to refer these questions to Dr. Clark. States that they’ve identified at least 80 people in Great Britain whom have died from a variation of the MCD.

145

Sen. Burdick

States that the report she is referring to was actually an American hunter who had shot a deer.

147

Sen. Hartung

States that he understands the hunters, etc. opposing this bill. But feels that there is room for both for wild deer for the hunting and the farmed deer and elk for production. Points out that the question is can we control and identify the CWD or Mad Cow Disease and the human form of it also.

156

Chair

Recesses hearing on SB 41 Opens work session on committee bills.

COMMITTEE BILLS, WORK SESSION

163

Staff

Introduces LC 3309

171

Sen. Shields

MOTION:  Moves LC 3309 BE INTRODUCED as a committee bill.

 

 

VOTE:  7-0

 

Chair

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

175

Staff

Introduces LC 3310

177

Sen. Shields

MOTION:  Moves LC 3310 BE INTRODUCED as a committee bill.

178

 

VOTE:  7-0

 

Chair

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

179

Staff

Introduces LC 3311

184

Sen. Shields

MOTION:  Moves LC 3311 BE INTRODUCED as a committee bill.

 

 

VOTE:  7-0

 

Chair

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

185

Chair Messerle

Adjourns work session. Reopens Public Hearing on SB 41.

SB 41, PUBLIC HEARING

195

Jim Welsh

Briefly summarizes what SB 41 does. States that the industry wants to be progressive in providing new products that they can provide the consuming public. It will also provide new employment opportunities as the industry progresses.

266

Harold Amidon

Chairman for the Eastern Oregon Domestic Elk Breeders Association. States that his area around Joseph, has the worst unemployment record in Oregon. They are losing jobs, and everything is closed down. About two years ago they started looking for some diversification for farmers and ranchers. After much research, they came up with domestic elk. Discusses other states and countries that are able to harvest and sell their product, but is not allowed in Oregon.  Discusses his conversation with the director of Fish & Wildlife. Asks the committee for help to get this industry growing.

422

Mike Kilpatrick

President, North American Elk Breeders Association. Oregon needs the elk industry. Received almost no cooperation with the Department of Fish & Wildlife for the past ten years. He stated that there are some serious issues. He has owned elk since 1977. Gives a brief history of how he started his herd. States that he made more money in the past ten years on 100 acres of his land with elk than on 4000 acres with cattle.

Tape 31, A

041

Kilpatrick

Continues testimony. Talks about Brucellosis, TB and Chronic Wasting Disease, and what has been done and what hasn’t. States that farmers should be able to have the choice of what they can raise on their own property. Submits written testimony.  (EXHIBITS A, B, C, and D).

193

Chair Chair Messerle

Welcomes Representative Nelson to the dais. States that they will try to get everyone to testify.

207

Sen. Burdick

Mr. Kilpatrick, you spoke of the economy of the area, what were some of the other options you looked at in terms of economic development besides this?

211

Kilpatrick

Explains that they have been working with Willowa Resources, which is trying to develop some product in the forest industry that is marketable.

242

Cynthia Kok

Lieutenant, Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Division.  Provides information on some of the problematic enforcement aspects of SB 41. Submits written testimony. (EXHIBIT E).

317

Sen. Fisher

Asks who is doing all the DNA tests on the Salmon.

318

Kok

States that she believes it is being done by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife lab.

319

Sen. Fisher

Asks why couldn’t they share a little bit with the beef or elk DNA?

322

Kok

States that they have been told that the lab has too much of  a work overload to accept their cases on a regular basis. Discusses another enforcement issue that will happen if SB 41passes.

360

Chair Chair Messerle

Asks, that it is his understanding of the domestic herds today, that very articulate and accurate records are being kept. If we could implement those kinds of controls, do you think the concerns that you have could be managed by identifying all the domestic animals and any meat that could not be traced back to an identified animal that was slaughtered, and packaged. Could you control your concerns that way?

375

Kok

States that it would certainly be the ideal, but, we know now that with the current methods going on there is still this illegal commercialization of wild game.

391

Chair

Asks if we couldn’t deal with that in the law? That if any animal has escaped and been taken by a hunter that that would not be a violation of taking of property?

392

Kok

States that it could be written into this bill.

397

Sen. Shields

States that she said that this bill doesn’t prohibit canned hunts; yet earlier testimony states that it does prohibit canned hunts. He is getting conflicting testimony. If it is not here, would it help if we made sure it was there?

411

Kok

Yes, it could be drafted into the language. States that it was their interpretation that it could be allowed, because a person could pay to come onto your property and shoot any domesticate or livestock.

424

Sen. Shields

Comments to the Chair that they could make sure its there and that it’s tighter than it must.

432

Sen. Fisher

Comments that it wouldn’t seem difficult to make a game animal technology into a domestic animal and treat it as a domestic animal. Did a lot work with ODFW on the sale of wild animal parts, because of Oregon’s antiquated rules and regulations concerning those things? The research that went into that got back to eastern state and talking to a game warden there found out that they are allowed to shoot and sell venison. Controlled during hunting season. They are treating poachers and such as criminals, not the common person that wanted to be involved in the use and sale of the wildlife animal parts that were reasonably available. It apparently was not a big problem to them, and yet out here it is absolute anathema. So I think we should take a little bit of a lesson, and look at what other states are doing.

Tape 30, B

022

George Buckner

Wildlife Division Director, ODFW. Discusses the concerns about the potential risk this industry poses to wildlife through the spread of disease, genetic deterioration, capture of wild animals for domestic herds and commercialization of wildlife. Continues testimony. ODFW recommends that the authority to regulate the farming remain with the commission as the agency responsible for managing the wildlife resources of our state. Briefly discusses the economic effect.  Submits written testimony. (EXHIBIT F).

070

Chair

Asks if he sees the domestic elk herds diminishing the economic impact of the wild herds and hunting?

071

Buckner

Responds that it could occur. Refers to problems in Colorado.

078

Chair

Gives some background relating to his cattle business that he has been in for most of his life. States that he has always been concerned of the disease factor in the wild herds. How do they affect the domestic herds, both cattle as well as the domestic elk herds? What kinds of controls does the department of Fish & Wildlife put on the wild herds? Do you periodically test animals or even downed animals, or sick animals for diseases, parasites, etc.?

094

Dr. Jack Mortenson

Answers that the department has done extensive testing through the years on several key herds of Rocky Mountain and Roosevelt elk through the state.

114

Chair

How often are the herds tested?

117

Mortenson

Responds.

136

Chair

Asks if this testing is done on regular basis, and what is the time frame?

137

Jeff

Responds yes. Tests are done annually.

138

Chair

Asks if he has presented the results to the committee?

140

Mortenson

Responds that he is not aware of it.

141

Buckner

Responds that he has not provided that in the information, but can get it to the committee.

144

Sen. Burdick

Notes that in Mr. Buckner’s comments he indicates that he saw the risk of Chronic Wasting Disease as being higher in a domestic elk population than it would in the wild. Asks if that what she heard was that if there is risk, it would spread from domestic herds to the wildlife. Is that a correct perception, and if it is correct, what is it about the domestic herds that would make them more susceptible to Chronic Wasting Disease in your view than a wild herd?

153

Buckner

Chronic Wasting Disease does occur in the wild and so far has not spread rapidly, but it is spreading. Expands on answer.

164

Chair

Asks, “isn’t it illegal to bring an animal into Oregon from a herd that is not clean?”

166

Mortenson

States that he is not specifically aware of laws regulating importation of elk, wild, or farmed.

182

Chair

Comments that he was thinking about the domestic herds. Could this be put into this law, to make it illegal to bring in livestock, elk from a herd that was not tested clean?

186

Buckner

Responds that the issue at this point with Chronic Wasting Disease is that there is no test on a live animal to determine if the animal is infected with the disease.

193

Chair

States that is his understanding, but also understands that if it is found within a herd, then the whole herd is destroyed.

194

Mortenson

Agrees.

195

Sen. Shields

States that he thought he read in the testimony, that there is no test today, there are several promising developments on the way though, and that within a few years they anticipate being able to do an anti-mortem test vs. the post-mortem. Suggests that if this is going to be developed within a few years maybe we could write it into the law.

208

Mortenson

States that it would be a great tool to have available to do a live animal test. Expands on answer.

220

Sen. Fisher

What is the cycle of this disease, and how is it transmitted?

227

Mortenson

States that the basic information about the disease is poorly known. Continues his description.

261

Sen. Fisher

Asks if it is his understanding that it at least appears that it can be passed on through the pregnancy process and birth and the young animals would then show signs faster, rather than transmitted from elk to elk in casual contact?

271

Mortenson

States that it is not clear if the dame can pass it onto fetus. Expands on explanation.

281

Chair Messerle

Asks if the test now for the disease is inspecting the brain of dead animals?

283

Mortenson

Responds, yes that is correct.

284

Chair Messerle

Indicates that from what was just said that he does not know at what stage of the disease that would show up in the brain.

285

Mortenson

Correct.

287

Chair Messerle

Asks if the department is spot checking the wild animals that are hunted and captured?

293

Mortenson

Responds.

333

Chair Messerle

Asks how many tests he has performed.

335

Mortenson

Responds that there have been 12 animals in the past three years and will provide the committee with that information.

350

Chuck Craig

Deputy Director, Oregon Department of Agriculture. Identifies a few points of concern for the record. Submits written testimony. (EXHIBIT G).

446

Chair Messerle

Asks Dr. Clark to make any comments in regards to the concerns of disease transfers.

449

Dr. Clark

Addresses the concerns of Brucellosis, TB and other diseases.

Tape 31, B

002

Dr. Clark

Continues with testimony.

038

Chair Messerle

To keep this in perspective, it was mentioned that he could not 100% guarantee that the Wasting Disease could not be transmitted to Oregon, could you guarantee 100% on Brucellosis or TB?

040

Clark

Responds, no.

043

Sen. Burdick

What if one elk was found with Chronic Wasting Disease in a herd of 500, do they have to destroy all 600 elk?

047

Clark

States that the herd would be quarantined subject to testing. Expands on answer.

055

Sen. Burdick

Asks for clarification on rate of indemnity.

056

Clark

Clarifies.

059

Burdock

So, if more animals are found, and the decision is made that many animals need to be destroyed, then the state would have to pay for all animals that are destroyed?

061

Clark

Responds, that is correct.

062

Chair Messerle

Asks if that is under present law?

063

Clark

Yes.

064

Sen. Burdick

So that mainly applies to cattle.

065

Clark

Replies that it applies to livestock.

066

Sen. Burdick

Asks if the disease is found and they quarantine the herd, what happens to the economical viability of that operation.? How long is the period of quarantine, and are they able to get any economic value during that period?

071

Clark

States that the economic viability would essentially be zero. Expands on answer.

081

Sen. Burdick

Asks if in that scenario, you have a zero economic value, but the state is not requiring that the animals be destroyed, only that they be quarantined; if the elk rancher decides it would be more economically viable to destroy the animal, than to keep feeding it for the period of quarantine, (which I would like to know how long that period is,) then does the state have to pay for the animals if they make that optional decision? 

088

Clark

Is the state liable for indemnity? No. How long is the quarantine? Indefinite. Because of type of disease and contamination of property potential.

103

Sen. Burdick

Correct me if I am wrong. From the standpoint of the elk farmer; one case of Chronic Wasting Disease shows up in a herd of 500; and that herd of 500 is taken out of economic value, and if the elk farmer decides he does not want to continue feeding and maintaining those animals, and destroys them, then he is out all that money the state will not compensate. Is that correct?

109

Clark

That would be my understanding. Would need to seek legal advice.

114

Chair Messerle

Comments that that is an issue that we need to get together with everyone in the industry and all the concerned people and make sure we clarify very clearly. We may write into law that they cannot be indemnified.

117

Sen. Deckert

Regarding an article from Oklahoma where 140 animals are under quarantine now, and my main concern is what protections do we have in SB 41 that would be unique to avoid the situation that seems to be dramatic that is occurring as we speak, in Oklahoma.

131

Clark

Replies that this is precisely the sort of problem that we may run into if we do not plan ahead. Expands on explanation.

152

Sen. Deckert

Notes a quick review of Colorado’s situation and other states that there is certainly some problems in well crafting a policy to deal with this situation.

157

Clark

States that they could use the experience of other states so they could come up with a sound policy in how to handle it. Expands on statement.

187

Chair Messerle

Asks Mr. Huffman regarding the discussions on the identification of animals and the transfer of ownership of animals.  In your experience with other livestock, do you feel we could manage the situation with the domestic elk herds.


 

191

Huffman

Agriculture Administration. States that he has done research on how other states are handling this, and that with the authority given in this bill if it was adopted, that there would be adequate ability to assure the law enforcement. Expands on explanation.

212

Sen. Burdick

If an elk escapes from a domestic situation into the wild, can the owner remove the identification?  If that animal gets sick and dies in the wild, is there any way to trace it back to the owner?

219

Huffman

Responds that until adopted, he cannot answer that.

231

Chair

States that it’s been important that we hear from the people that are going to be responsible if this bill moves forward. I think this bill, needs a lot more work done, but I think the parties involved are willing to do that.

248

Steve Simpson

Resident of Deschutes County. One of new permitees of last year in regards to raising elk. Sees this as great opportunity to make profit. Monitors elk daily. Does all testing. States that the Game Commission does not monitor like he does. States that he is very much for this amendment.

305

Kathy Simpson

Resident of Deschutes County. Sees that diversification is most important to farmers.

317

John Mullens

Resident of Umatilla. He and his wife are in support of SB 41. Own and maintain two elk herds in other states. States that he would like the option to bring their herds home and spend their money locally.

328

Lonnie Woosley

From Florence. Has farmed for 23 years. Addresses the fact that they have never had an escape or health problem. Comments that if he had a case of CDW pop up, he would dispose of whole herd.  Feels that there are good safeguards, and that the industry is working hard.

360

Ed Bowers

Resident of Enterprise. In support of SB 41. Asks for committee support.

385

Bob Stangel

Resident of Enterprise. Interested in the elk business. Have been raising bison for 23 years. States that the only reason they’ve been able to stay in farming and ranching is because they were able to diversify into something else that had a higher income to it.  Wants to sell Oregon products.

447

Louise Woosley

Resident of Florence.  Stresses that the members of the Oregon Elk Association are very satisfied with regulations and that they are fair.

460

Sheldon Kirk

From Western Oregon, a 4th generation farmer and sportsman. Since the canneries have closed they can no longer sell their crop.  Cannot survive without this alternative method to farming. Will have to move out of state in order to raise a herd of elk. Asks for the committee’s support on SB 41.

Tape 32, A

027

Jim Weidner

Resident of Yamhill.  Looking at getting into the elk ranching industry. In favor of Department of Agriculture handling this.

052

David Wiley

Resident of Salem.  Opposes SB 41 and all it pertains to.


 

070

Chair Messerle

Announces that if anyone wants to submit written testimony they can do so and it will be part of permanent records. Also, there will be another hearing on this bill. I do not know when it will be scheduled at this time, but I apologize to all of you who have not had a chance to testify today. Submits written testimony.  (EXHIBITS H through O).

078

Sen. Fisher

States that there is so much scare tactics about disease, and such.  Requests some support for research from the Veterinary School and Research Center to conquer these diseases in our own framework, rather than giving our people a hard time on it.  Would like to know how this basic CWD is any different than things we’ve conquered in the past?

089

Chair Messerle

Then we can ask them to come in and testify.

093

Chair Messerle

Adjourns meeting. 10:05.

 

Submitted By,                        Reviewed By,

 

 

 

Cheryl Young,                        Jennifer Solomon,

Committee Assistant                        Administrator

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A – SB 41, written testimony,  Mike Kilpatrick, 1p

B – SB 41, written testimony,  Mike Kilpatrick, magazine

C – SB 41, written testimony,  Mike Kilpatrick, 8pp

D – SB 41, written testimony,  Mike Kilpatrick, 8pp

E – SB 41, written testimony,  Lieutenant Cynthia K. Kok, 3pp

F – SB 41, written testimony,  George Buckner, 6pp

G – SB 41, written testimony,  Chuck Craig, 1p

H – SB 41, written testimony,  Richard Springer, 1p

I -  SB  41, written testimony,  John Mullins, 1p

J -  SB 41, written testimony,  Kelly Peterson, 4pp

K – SB 41, written testimony, Robert Davison, 2p

L – SB 41, written testimony,  Kathleen Kidwell, 5pp

M – SB 41, written testimony, Kathleen Kidwell, 3pp

N – SB 41, written testimony,  Todd Bastian, 2pp

O – SB 41, written testimony,  Chuck Woosley, 3pp