The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wants to hear from deer hunters and those who have deer farms or hunting preserves about a proposed rule change that would prohibit the importation of live captive deer into Florida from out-of-state sources.
The change is being proposed in an effort to reduce the chances of chronic wasting disease (CWD) being introduced into the state. CWD is not known to affect people.
The disease, which has been discovered in 22 states, two Canadian provinces and in South Korea, is a contagious neurological disease affecting deer, elk and moose. It is similar to mad cow disease, always fatal, and there is no known cure or vaccine for the animals.
The rule-change proposal will go before the Commission at its June 13 meeting in Lakeland, and the FWC encourages all those who have an interest to go to MyFWC.com/Deer and select “Captive Cervids” to read about what is being proposed and offer any comments, questions or concerns they may have.
If the proposal is passed at the June meeting, it would go into effect soon after.
For more information on CWD, go to www.CWD-info.org.