Monday, January 31, 2011

Act Now To Keep FWS From Regulating Livestock

Apparently the FWS has received enough public comments opposing their proposed regulation of Muscovy ducks to cause them to reconsider trying to regulate domestic Muscovy ducks.

Your letters will help to preserve the right to raise poultry on pasture, rather than in confinement similar to the factory farms.

While the comment period ended Dec. 30, 2010, letters to FWS and your elected representatives will still be effective.

Please consider writing to your elected representaives regarding this matter.  Below are points that you may want to raise in your letter or e-mail to your representatives.  You may also want to cc Dr. George Allen at FWS on your letter.

Contact info:

      Dr. George Allen at the Fish & Wildlife Service:

      Your representative in the house:

      Your senator:

Points that you may want to raise in your letter or e-mail:

I am contacting you in regard to the recently published for comment regulations by the Fish and Wildlife Service (Docket No. FWS-R9-MB-2010-0037) regarding Muscovy Ducks.

Muscovy ducks have been domesticated since the 1500s.  Numerous hatcheries in the US sell domestic Muscovy ducks, many bred from Muscovies from France. Turkeys and Muscovies were both domesticated in the Americas and both are now raised as domestic livestock around the world.

The FWS has failed to recognize this long history of the domestic Muscovy as livestock. Domestic Muscovy ducks are livestock, and as such should not be subject to U S Fish and Wildlife regulations.

I feel strongly that the U S Fish and Wildlife Service should recognize a distinction between wild Muscovy ducks and the domestic Muscovies that have been raised as livestock all across the world for hundreds of years, and that the U S Fish and Wildlife Service does not have jurisdiction over domestic livestock, whether raised commercially, privately, for food, as pets, or exhibition. This is an unacceptable infringement on the long-standing right to farm and to feed one’s family.

As I understand the problems that prompted these regulations, the problems with feral Muscovies are, for the most part, limited to Florida and possibly Chicago. Especially considering our country's current budget deficits, why would the Fish and Wildlife Service even think about new regulations that affect domestic livestock all across the United States when the problem is limited to just a couple areas, areas where said ducks are not even native? Where is the funding going to come from?

I see no problem with the portions of the rules (21.54 Control order for muscovy ducks in the United States) that allows localities to control feral populations of Muscovies that have become a problem. There does not appear to be any conflict between this control order and recognizing domestic Muscovies as livestock and exempting them from this regulation. This should not hinder the abilities of localities to control problem feral populations of wild or domestic Muscovies.

I strongly urge the FWS to limit their revision of 21.14 Permit exceptions for captive-bred migratory waterfowl other than mallard ducks to include only following:

1) Domestic Muscovy ducks have a long history of domestication and have long been raised as livestock both in the United States and around the world. Muscovy ducks that are owned as livestock (for the production of meat, eggs, or breeding stock), pets, or for exhibition shall be considered domestic Muscovy ducks.

2) No migratory bird permit(s) shall be required to possess, propagate, or sell (as live birds, meat, or eggs) domestic Muscovy ducks.

3) The intentional release of domestic Muscovy ducks to the wild shall be prohibited.

4) You may not take Muscovy ducks or their eggs from the wild , unless such taking is provided for elsewhere in this subchapter.

5) Keep 21.54 Control order for muscovy ducks in the United States in effect without revision. It seems important that landowners, and Federal, State, Tribal and local wildlife managment agencies be able to control feral populations of Muscovy ducks in areas where they are not native without a depredation permit.
Do not place any additional restrictions on domestic Muscovy ducks! 

The FWS is grossly overstepping their bounds in proposing regulations that affect domestic livestock.
The proposed regulations will affect the domestic Muscovy ducks that are raised as livestock across the United States. Where will the funding for the enforcement of these regulations come from?

The country cannot afford wanton expansion of regulation like this.

This regulation may very well be unconstitutional.  Where did the FWS get the authority to regulate domestic livestock in this manner?

And, all the FWS really had to do to address the real problem, was to pass a regulation that granted a blanket control order that allowed local jurisdictions to control problem populations of feral Muscovy ducks. The final proposed rules do grant this control order, but they also go further and regulate all domestic Muscovy ducks in the country.

This is another example of government regulation run amuck at taxpayers' expense.

Please do what you can to rein in this expensive non-sense. The public comment period for these regulations just ended Dec 30, so there is still time to influence the outcome.