State wildlife agencies throughout the country are grappling with numerous issues related to white-tailed deer and other cervids as well as legislatures trying to strip or shift agency powers.
One of the biggest issues in the last few years has been captive deer farming and shooting preserves. Advocates say that where legal, they’re merely doing what they enjoy and landowners argue that they should be able to do what they want with their property. Opponents say wildlife belongs to the public and point to ethical concerns about shooting deer, elk and other game inside a fence.
Indiana and Missouri are among the latest states to deal with the captive deer issue. Now, Kentucky’s state veterinarian has banned all imports of captive deer from Indiana because of concerns about transmittable diseases.
Captive deer imports already were banned from Pennsylvania and Ohio thanks to chronic wasting disease in high-fence farms and quarantine situations in those states. Because Indiana had captive deer from high-fence farms in Pennsylvania and Ohio, Kentucky state veterinarian Robert Stout issued the ban on Indiana deer.
“Indiana has received (deer) over the years from both Pennsylvania and Ohio herds,” Stout wrote in a memo describing the import ban according to the Indianapolis Star. “Therefore, until such time that a comprehensive epidemiologic investigation is completed by both (the U.S. Department of Agriculture) and impacted states, importation into Kentucky from Indiana herds is temporarily suspended.”
Shawn Schafer, executive director of the North American Deer Farmers Association, said it’s common for state veterinarians to close borders for short periods out of concerns about livestock diseases.
“It shows the system works and the program is working,” Schafer said.
Indiana legislators are considering several bills involving high fence operations. Kentucky officials aren’t taking any chances, though.
Get the Thinking Man’s Guide to Whitetail Hunting!
Enjoy the first 5 seasons of the top-rated hunting show Deer & Deer Hunting TV on DVD with this exclusive bundle. This set includes 62 episodes of valuable information to help you become a better hunter – and bag the buck of your dreams!
Deer & Deer Hunting TV is the leading hunting program focused on educating hunters through scientific research, Vital Information shot analysis, outdoors journalism and entertaining topics.DDH TV is the thinking man’s guide to whitetail hunting, teaching, entertaining and informing hunters on proven strategies, hot trends and new equipment. Join show hosts Dan Schmidt and Brad Rucks as they feature and interview a wide variety of expert special guests, and cover a range of topics including food plots, rut predictions, land management, scent control, whitetail behavior, tree stand safety, and much more.