Deer Importation Still Under Review Despite Concerns About Fatal Disease

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission deferred action until September on a rule prohibiting the importation of live captive deer into Florida from out-of-state sources.

At its June 13 meeting in Lakeland, Commissioners said they wanted more time to hear from staff and stakeholders about options designed to reduce the chances of chronic wasting disease being introduced into the state.

CWD is not known to affect people but 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. So far, the disease has been discovered in 22 states, two Canadian provinces and in South Korea.

Since the beginning of May, the FWC has received much public comment and answered many questions and concerns through its website from deer enthusiasts and those who have deer farms and hunting preserves. The Commission used this public input when considering this proposal, which was deferred until fall.

For more information on CWD, go to For more information on this draft rule that was deferred, go to