ATA retailers are taking notice of the “ATA Check,” now printed on scent product packaging.
But what does it mean and why is it there?
With help and advice from state wildlife agencies, the ATA spent the past two years working with its Scent Manufacturers and Urine Providers Committee to self-impose protective restrictions on their products and the deer/elk facilities that provide urine for those products.
Scent manufacturers enrolled in the ATA Deer Protection program can display the ATA’s “Seal of Participation” label on scent products that originate from facilities participating in the program.
Scent manufacturers enrolled in this ATA program can display the ATA’s “Seal of Participation” label — a simple check mark within the ATA logo — on scent products that originate from facilities participating in the program.
“The seal demonstrates that the supplier and manufacturer are doing all they can to prevent CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease) from harming our nation’s wild cervid populations,” said Mitch King, the ATA’s director of government relations.
This seal demonstrates that urine-based scent suppliers and manufacturers are doing all they can to prevent Chronic Wasting Disease.
The ATA program requires participating urine-producing facilities to follow these seven requirements by …
1. Requiring participation in the USDA’s APHIS Herd Certification Program for all ATA-program participants, regardless of whether they transport live deer or elk across state lines. (Full participation in the federal program is “required” only for deer farms transporting live deer or elk across state lines.)
2. Prohibiting the import of live deer or elk into participating facilities (beginning Dec. 31, 2016). (The federal program allows importing live deer or elk.)
3. Requiring that all cervids transferred out of a participating facility be tested for CWD upon death. This restriction eliminates a facility’s ability to avoid testing by moving an animal to a nonparticipating facility. (The federal program allows facilities to transfer out live cervids.)
4. Requiring participating facilities in the ATA program to undergo a 100 percent physical inspection every third year, and at least a 20 percent physical inspection every year by an accredited veterinarian. (The federal program requires a 100 percent physical inspection every third year [related to TB and brucellosis certification] but does not require annual physical inspections.)
5. Requiring that participating facilities undergo an annual inspection by an accredited veterinarian that includes a physical animal inspection (20 percent), a herd inventory review, and overall herd health and facility inspections (including fencing). (The federal program does not require this level of inspection.)
6. Requiring that participating facilities be double-fenced along their perimeter if they’re within 30 miles of a confirmed CWD case in wild or captive deer or elk. (The federal program does not require double-fencing.)
7. Establishing an oversight advisory group that will include industry and state wildlife agency representatives to help review the ATA program. (The federal program does not involve oversight by state wildlife agencies.)
All program participants have agreed to take measures to meet or exceed state and federal CWD requirements and ensure that their products come from healthy deer herds. Photo: John Hafner
The ATA Deer Protection Program will be monitored by the ATA and an oversight advisory group that includes state wildlife agencies and, where available, state veterinary services.
“This is the first program of its kind where an industry, with help from wildlife agencies and CWD experts, has united to say, ‘Let’s do something about this problem,’” King said. “Rather than complain, these companies and agencies are taking the first step in a long-term joint effort to minimize the potential for their product to transmit CWD and otherwise harming our nation’s wild cervid populations.”
To learn more about the ATA Deer Protection Program, visit www.archerytrade.org/deerprotection, or contact Dan Forster, ATA Director of Government Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (770) 601-5038.