Fenced Hunting Doesn’t Spread Disease
August 14, 2014
Printed in the IndyStar
July 30, 2014
Skip Hess shot wide of the mark in his column that condemned hunting deer inside fenced preserves (“Blame the hunters in the captive deer controversy”). For starters, these operations are large and can be hundreds of acres and in many cases thousands of acres in size, allowing for a “fair chase” hunt and the ability of the animal to escape. Because they are private facilities, they are more appropriately regulated by the agriculture department and not the natural resources department.
Hess is mistaken to imply that these operations are a worrisome risk for spreading chronic wasting disease. There are strong regulations in place to mitigate the risk of spreading CWD by transporting deer. The U.S. Department of Agriculture requires deer farms that want to ship animals interstate to test all eligible mortalities for a minimum of five years before they are eligible to ship interstate, and then continue testing at that level to remain eligible for interstate movement of their animals.
Whether you prefer hunting deer in a free-range situation or private conservation ranches, deer and elk farming contributes an estimated $4 billion to the U.S. economy. It shouldn’t be regulated to death by a state bureaucracy.
American Cervid Alliance