Beyond time for the vet

Beyond time for the vet This letter is a response to the March 25 story entitled Elk Imports Carry Great Risk: Wildlife Group. The anti-lobbyist mentioned in this article, Darrell Rowledge, wrote a research book entitled No Action commissioned by Albert

This letter is a response to the March 25 story entitled Elk Imports Carry Great Risk: Wildlife Group.

The anti-lobbyist mentioned in this article, Darrell Rowledge, wrote a research book entitled No Action commissioned by Alberta’s Outfitters Association.

Rowledge has spent two decades in his stance against imported farm animals.

I have not yet read this book. But I plan to.

Rowledge goes on to mention the chronic-wasting disease found in the Prairie provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta. He also mentions the vast sums of money taxpayers are paying for such government ventures, and now governments are being sued for not being forthright with the business community.

In another Yukon News article on March 4, the territory is now getting a chief veterinarian who will maintain tabs on animal disease and keep “wild and domestic animal populations healthy and viable,” according to the Yukon Department of Environment.

The article mentions that this post is now necessary and critical in the face of global warming and the Yukon is now importing farm animals due to the warmer climate changes and, thus, the viability and feasibility of farms in the North.

Brad Cathers, minister of Energy, Mines, and Resources, validates his claim that a chief veterinarian officer “improves our ability to support the production of Yukon-grown food,” and the article mentions that, although climate change spurs agricultural growth, it also brings other threats.

Without the proper management and government infrastructure, the Yukon could find itself in an ecological catastrophe and a devastating mess, it adds.

The articles call for a Yukon “watchdog” system for domestic animal food sources.

The Circle D Ranch owners (Drury) and local game farmer Shirley Ford mention, in the latest article, that as business owners they must follow safe, restrictive and tough import-export laws.

Though reluctant to debate this issue, they are more than willing to meet publicly with anyone who wishes to do so. The Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board is also split on this debate issue.

There appears to be much controversy surrounding the import-export of wild and domestic animals into the Yukon.

As a consumer of store-bought food, and as well as a consumer of “wildlife” subsistence foods I am in favour of food that is not only grown in the Yukon, but also farmed domestic meat sources.

After all, it is the agriculture community that is the backbone of the Canadian identity. Although the Yukon waited a long time for a Yukon-wide veterinarian, I am glad that the Department of Environment has finally put in place something that should have been put there a long time ago.

M. Johnson

via e-mail