Deer hunters, breeders, a conservation department and a state legislature are at odds over a brewing situation about the possible reclassification of white-tailed deer as livestock.
During an April 14 meeting at the state capitol, the Missouri Whitetail Breeders and Hunting Ranch Association threw its support to the public and lawmakers in its request to have deer reclassified as livestock.
The issue has pitted hunters, breeders, the Missouri Department of Consevation — which currently supervises breeding outfits — and the Missouri Department of Agriculture. The breeders association wants the latter agency to assume control and supervision of the breeders.
The conservation department says possible relaxed regulations with a reclassification could lead to more problems with chronic wasting disease. Breeders argue that despite being continually fingered as the culprits with CWD issues, they’re not the sole reason the disease exists or is spreading. Currently, more than two dozen states and Canadian provinces have detected CWD in wild or captive deer. States that have not detected the disease in either population have implemented regulations to try to combat the spread.
What do you think about reclassifying deer as livestock or having state agricultural agencies supervise breeders? We want to hear your opinions.
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