With regard to the current situation with Epic Nature registered stock, I want to thank, on behalf of the BOD, everyone who has contacted the board with concerns about the integrity of the Epic Nature program. I also want to thank everyone who participated in the zoom meeting on this subject and the many members and nonmembers who contacted board members to discuss. Opinions on how to proceed were basically broke down to 3 options. Leave the stock as is, flag all Epic bred animals, or purge Epic stock from the registry. Surprisingly, we had multiple Epic stock owners who said they felt we had no choice but to flag. We looked into the numbers and there are roughly 211 animals in the registry with Epic in their 3 generation pedigree. 29 of those are boars. After extensive talks with each other on the board, talks with industry experts and finally with the Livestock Conservancy we felt the decision ultimately came down to burden of proof. This is not a court of law. This is a self-ran breed association that relies on honesty and integrity of its members. Therefore, it is ultimately the responsibility of both the association and the member in question to prove they have followed the rules. Statements of individuals, Facebook posts, comments within posts, videos and pictures tend to build serious concerns and no effort to prove otherwise leave us no choice. Therefore, the board of directors have voted unanimously to flag all Epic Nature bred animals effective immediately. The rules to follow, all agreed upon unanimously as well, to remove the flag are as follows:
EPIC NATURE FLAG PROGRAM
• All animals currently bred and owned by Epic Nature, Ryan and DeAnn Kolodziej are not permitted to be transferred.
• All RWHA registered animals with Epic Nature pedigrees for the first 3 generations currently owned by RWHA members are enrolled into an Epic Nature Flag Program.
*Epic to Epic is Generation zero
*Epic to Non-Epic is Generation 1
*Epic on only one side of grandparents is Generation 2
• Flag program will be for 5 generations with the 6th generation registered with no flag.
• No flag-to-flag breeding will be accepted including any other current or future flagged animals.
• Epic Nature bred flagged boars will be allowed to be used as sires for one year to allow locating and purchase of a non-flagged boar.
Epic bred boars will remain in the registry and only produce flagged registerable offspring until October 17, 2023. After that time, no new registrations with Epic Nature bred boars (Generation Zero) as sires will be accepted.
• Pictures of the top, head, and each side will be submitted for all applicants at 5 month of age or older to be approved by a committee of one, non-voting board member and 3 voting, non-board members. No registrations will be allowed until pictures are approved.