Oklahoma cattlemen discuss biggest issues they face to lawmakers

Oklahoma cattlemen recently visited Washington, D.C. to address policy issues affecting their operations. They discussed two main concerns.

One, they need to amend the Migratory Bird Act. Executive Vice President of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, Michael Kelsey says the current permit limit is insufficient, especially during calving season when there are more vultures threatening livestock.

“There is a House Bill that would allow for more taking of those birds. Right now, there is a permit that allows you to take five over a year. When you are in a calving season and you run out there and there are 30 birds, circling in the heifer pen, taking five is just not going to work. And so, we need some relief there in the Migratory Bird Act.”

The other issue is EPA pesticide restrictions. EPA has imposed new restrictions on pesticide applications, with a focus on the Endangered Species Act. Kelsey believes these restrictions limit their ability to combat pest problems effectively.

“This new restriction is relative to the Endangered Species Act and so it hits things like the American burying beetle and some other smaller species…what it would do is it would drastically prohibit the pesticide uses, it takes tools out of the toolbox. And so, we need to work on that, we need to educate our congressional delegation about that.”