American Sheep Industry Transmits Priorities to the New Administration
January 6, 2017

In preparation for the new year and new administration, the American Sheep Industry Association, on behalf of the nation's 88,000 sheep producers, provided the Trump Administration a list of priorities - https://d1cqrq366w3ike.cloudfront.net/http/DOCUMENT/SheepUSA/ASI%20Presidential%20Transition%20Priorities.pdf - it hopes will be considered for immediate action. Burton Pfliger, ASI President and North Dakota sheep producer said America's sheep producers are struggling amidst the last eight years of regulatory rampage.

"It is no secret that all of agriculture has been over-burdened with regulation and that has had a significant impact on our ability to compete globally," said Pfliger. "From the current administration's 'waters of the United States' rule to the loss of sheep ranches claiming conflict with wild sheep, there are a number of issues ripe for the new administration to tackle."

America's sheep producers are asking the Trump administration to look at ways the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Interior and the Department of Labor can immediately take action to stabilize the rural economy. These actions include robust Wildlife Services predation management, supporting the work of the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station and delisting wolves and grizzly bears under the Endangered Species Act. Additionally, protecting the health of the domestic herd by withdrawing rules allowing imports from countries with a known history of Foot and Mouth Disease and publishing the final rule on scrapie in sheep and goats are top priorities.

"The specific issues outlined in our letter are commonsense requests that would immediately benefit sheep producers and the local communities they support," said Pfliger. "In addition to regulatory reform, we are hopeful President-elect Trump's administration will focus on fair trade and re-opening markets lost to U.S. lamb. Japan remains closed to our producers and the United Kingdom and European Union maintain significant barriers to lamb trade. Priorities also include federal recognition of the key role the H-2A labor program plays in the sheep industry.

"ASI is hopeful the new administration will recognize the role of America's sheep ranchers in managing private land and federal allotments to preserve habitat and natural resources to benefit wildlife and rural economies."

In response to the letter, officials with the transition team have already requested additional information from ASI on a key topic.