Keith Warren & Missouri Deer Breeders Educate State Legislators
April 15, 2014
Local Association Hosts Legislative Receptions and Town Hall Meetings
AYR, NE- Over the last several weeks, the Missouri Whitetail Deer Breeders & Hunting Ranch Association has held several forums in an effort to improve the dissemination of accurate information to the public and Missouri legislators concerning Chronic Wasting Disease. These forums coincide with the aggressive grassroots effort seen this past year in Missouri by local deer and elk farmers.
On Monday, April 14, 2014, the Missouri Whitetail Deer Breeders & Hunting Ranch Association hosted a legislative reception in the Missouri Statehouse. It was open to state senators and representatives who were invited to meet local cervid famers. Outdoor TV personality, Keith Warren and Dr Stephen Presley of Texas Tech University, were in attendance and made public remarks regarding the cervid industry. Elk meat and venison were provided for the legislators to sample. Several dozen legislators, who were in attendance, had a genuine interest in hearing the deer and elk farmer's story. The reception was well attended by local deer farmers and the leadership of the Missouri Elk Farmers Association, North American Deer Farmers Association and North American Elk Breeders Association.
Mr. Warren led a discussion of the impact Chronic Wasting Disease has on free ranging cervid populations, deer farming, and proposed regulatory policy. He further explained the genesis of his "Truths about Chronic Wasting Disease" documentary series and DVD copies were distributed to legislators. Mr. Warren's message, pointing out the myths and half truths, and falsehoods that are being published by the media, appeared to resonate with the legislators in attendance. He explained that deer and elk farmers have the healthiest cervids in the state and it is in their best interest to keep them healthy because it is their business and livelihood. He also noted that there is no real answer concerning the causative factors surrounding Chronic Wasting Disease. This is proven by the fact that the disease has been found in areas of the country where there is not a deer farming operation within 400 miles.
Dr Stephen Presley of Texas Tech University explained that the real threat to deer is Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD). Dr Presley explained the differences between Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease and Chronic Wasting Disease and suggested the industry use the full names when discussing the diseases rather than acronyms because the public is getting them confused. Dr Presley is also involved in the cervid health research project at Texas Tech University which is being sponsored by the Deer Breeders Corporation.
Earlier this month, a similar forum, which was open to the public, was held in Macon, Missouri. "We are doing everything we can to educate and improve our message", said Kurt Humphrey, a director for the Missouri Whitetail Deer & Hunting Ranch Association. "We appreciate everyone's support."