Double Standard is Unfair to Deer Farms

August 17, 2014

Columbia Daily Tribune
Saturday, August 16, 2014

Over the past several months, the Missouri Department of Conservation has adopted historic regulations to impose on the whitetail deer industry. These regulations, so extreme they have never been implemented in any state, will surely cripple the state’s deer industry. Though the new regulations are filled with unfunded mandates and even questionable constitutional challenges, such as a ban on importing deer, they are justified by the department saying these new regulations will protect the state from chronic wasting disease (CWD).

However, the department’s attitude seems to be “do as I say, not as I do”: The department recently imported free-ranging elk that do not comply with federal CWD interstate entry requirements administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. One year before the Conservation Department voted to shut down the state’s borders to deer farmers, it imported free-ranging elk from Kentucky in the name of a relocation project.

The free-ranging elk brought into the state were not from certified CWD-free herds, which is required for transit by private deer and elk farmers. Other states, such as Wisconsin and Tennessee, have gone to great expense to prevent the spread of CWD. Yet both wildlife agencies in those states have also brought in free-ranging elk that were not certified, as required for farmed deer and elk.

It seems the Conservation Department might only be concerned with the disease when it fits its political agenda.

Kim Kafka, president
North American Elk Breeders Association


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