USTFA letter of support to Congress regarding the USDA APHIS Wildlife Services program

The Honorable Nita Lowey
Ranking Member, Committee on Appropriations
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Sam Farr
Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Agriculture
Rural Development, Food and Drug
Administration, and Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
United State House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Harold Rogers
Chairman, Committee on Appropriations
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Robert Aderholt
Chairman, Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Rogers and Chairman Aderholt and Ranking Members Lowey and Farr:

The US Trout Farmers Association is the nation’s oldest aquacultural organization. Now in our 61st year, we are proud to have worked with numerous federal and state agencies to insure profitable production and a healthy relationship with our nation’s natural resources.

An educated cooperative team approach to solving conflicts is at the center of building trust. The USDA APHIS Wildlife Services program is one of the most important efforts of the US Government in creating and establishing long term productive relationships.

Trout aquaculture is an industry that utilizes natural resources in production. Needing the cleanest of water for production, places our facilities in areas where conflict with predators is common. Fish eating birds as well as foxes, raccoons, bears and coyotes often take advantage of our industry. In an effort to maintain our productive capability and have minimal negative impact on the wildlife, we depend on the USDA APHIS Wildlife Services professionals to intervene.

Often the Wildlife Service professionals are able to recommend non-lethal techniques including exclusion or repellants to deter the problem animals. Capture and relocation techniques are often recommended. When lethal force is needed, Wildlife Services acts as an advocate for both the fish farmer and the wildlife in determining the methods, species and number of animals when dealing with state and federal agencies.

Sufficient funding for USDA APHIS Wildlife Services is essential so that this agency may continue to provide exemplary service to the farmers of the United States.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter,

Sincerely,

Sean Nepper

President

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