Mr. Speaker, the old adage, “I'm from the government and I'm here to help” has a whole new meaning for elk farmers in my riding. The past two years have been a nightmare of government red tape and contradictory directives from CFIA bureaucrats to the hardest hit farms.
To that end, a class action suit against the government's continued mismanagement and abusive tactics has been initiated.
One of those litigants, elk farmer, Rick Alsager, had his house raided and searched by CFIA vets when no one was at home. Quarantined farms that have been ordered “cleaned up” have followed the directives. At huge costs to themselves, they have removed the topsoil and buried it and have sanitized buildings and equipment, only to have the rules changed and the quarantines imposed indefinitely.
A sentinel program that was promised has never been implemented. That program would see a small herd of elk contained on the quarantined premises for three to four years, then tested for CWD. The government must realize that more science is the answer to CWD, not this program of stalling an industry to death.
As usual, the Liberal government's shortsighted agriculture policies are a day late and a dollar short.