Missouri Deer Farmers Seek Common Sense Regulation Oversight
May 12, 2014
HB 2031Would Bring Missouri on Par with Cervid States
AYR, NE- This week Missouri deer farmers plan to converge on the state capitol to explain all the good points and advantages of House Bill 2031. HB 2031, if approved, would shift regulatory oversight from the Missouri Department of Conservation to the Missouri Department of Agriculture. It must be noted that most deer farming states already allow their farmed deer to be under the jurisdiction of their respective Department of Agriculture.
The importance of the change was highlighted last month when the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) announced and approved a proposal of new regulations that would cripple the state's farmed deer industry.
"We need to be regulated by the agency that most closely addresses our issues," said Sam James, president of the Missouri Whitetail Deer & Hunting Ranch Association.
Other states in the region already consider deer as livestock in nearby Kansas, Iowa, and Oklahoma. Agriculture departments also regulate the farmed cervid industry in states such as Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
While the Missouri Whitetail Deer Breeders and Hunting Ranch Association is not in favor of MDC's proposed regulations that are aimed at destroying the cervid industry in Missouri, they are strong advocates of responsible diligent disease surveillance and management through their Department of Agriculture. Missouri cervid farmers are already under stringent Chronic Wasting Disease Testing Requirements as well as certification and accreditation for Tuberculosis, Brucellosis, and other health programs that are currently administrated by the Department of Agriculture. Missouri deer farmers emphatically state that they wish to continue these programs and are in favor of mandatory CWD enrollment and increasing CWD requirements for movement within the state.
Sam James continues to say that animal health is their highest priority. "These animals are our livelihoods; it's in our best interest to keep them as safe and healthy as possible."
The deer association's platform includes continued support of full animal identification requirements and tracking all animal movement. "Through diligent testing, our industry's animals are the healthiest and most tested animal industry in the United States and it continues to get better each day."
Missouri Whitetail Breeders and Hunting Preserve Association is very concerned about disease. James concluded, "How can our deer not be the healthiest deer in the state? They are taken care of each day through feeding of high quality grain and hay, and clean water. In addition, unlike the deer in the wild, they are vaccinated for a variety of wildlife diseases and tested regularly."