Casper Star Tribune – “Judge holds Forest Service in contempt over Wyoming goat and sheep ban”
An Idaho federal judge found the U.S. Forest Service in contempt of court Tuesday, concluding the Forest Service used a flawed study as the basis to ban domestic sheep and goats from some of its lands…. full article.
Jackson Hole News & Guide – “Goatpackers Score Win Over Shoshone”
High-ranking federal officials are being held in contempt of court for using invalidated reports to support a Shoshone National Forest prohibition against packgoats…. full article.
Capital Press – “Idaho Judge Holds Forest Service, Top Leaders in Contempt”
BOISE — An Idaho federal judge has held U.S. Forest Service Director Tom Tidwell, his agency and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in contempt of court for ignoring his 2009 order against heeding conclusions of a questionable report on disease transmission from domestic sheep to wild bighorn sheep…. full article.
Article by Andy Irvine
On February 23, 2016, Chief Judge B. Lynn Winmill of the United States District Court for the District of Idaho held the Secretary of Agriculture and Chief of the United States Forest Service (“Forest Service”) in contempt of court for relying on two illegal reports on disease transmission from livestock to bighorn sheep. The reports were used in the Shoshone National Forest’s recent Land Management Plan (LMP) revision to ban domestic sheep and goats from the Shoshone. The Shoshone National Forest covers nearly 2.5 million acres in northwest Wyoming….
Click here to read the complete article!
To all concerned citizens of the packgoat community: please read the following summary of an ADRU* research project to screen packgoats throughout the United States for pathogens and how you can participate. For packgoats it involves 3 serial nasal swabs and one blood test.
We strongly believe that without packgoat participation in this ADRU project we will continue to lose our access with packgoats on Public Lands.There is little hope without your participation.
Purpose: Collect nasal and eye swabs from packgoats across the United States to screen for presence of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae and agents associated with “pink eye”.
Justification: Packgoat use on public lands defined as bighorn sheep habitat is being prohibited across the Western United States. This prohibition is based on the potential that packgoats can carry a primary bacterial agent associated with bighorn sheep pneumonia, and pinkeye. In order to understand the prevalence and distribution of the bacteria of concern as well as to get a significant number of packgoats tested, NAPgA request packgoat owners from across the United States participate. While this may not directly impact packgoat owners outside of bighorn sheep habitat, the implications of placing limitations on public land use without justification impacts us all by limiting the rights of individuals. Beyond that, identifying carrier goats and distribution of the pathogens M. ovipneumoniae (Movi), and Chlamydia spp. (pink eye), may lead to future investigations into potential ways to clear reservoir goats of these pathogens.
There are two suggested protocols:
1. The first is for packgoat owners that use or live in the Western US where bighorn sheep live. This involves 3 consecutive monthly nasal swabs, one blood test, and one eye swab2. The second protocol is for packgoats outside of, or never brought into, states that are home to bighorn sheep. This involves a single point nasal swabs, eye swab, and blood test.
Please Note: All costs will be covered by ADRU to perform this prevalence/surveillance study, including veterinary charges (if applicable), supplies, shipping, and testing. All we need at this point are names, address, and number of goats. For questions see attached documents, contact Charlie Jennings, NAPgA President 435-764-1111, or firstname.lastname@example.org . To request copies of sample research documents or to participate email Nancy Clough, NAPgA Member at email@example.com 208-699-2702
What will the outcome be if this project goes forward?
The end goal will be to publish this M. ovipneumoniae prevalence data in a peer-reviewed journal (possible venues: JAVMA or Small Ruminant Research). This is a good way to not only compile our packgoat data, but to also make it accessible and referenceable for the US Forest Service Land Management Revision Teams who are making decisions to deny access to packgoats on public lands.
*Animal Disease Research Unit-ARS-USDA (Pullman, WA)