Bill Seeks to Shift Captive Deer Management
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Missouri lawmakers have sent the governor legislation that would change how the state manages captive deer.
The bill given final approval by the House and Senate on Thursday would shift management of captive deer from the Conservation Department to the Department of Agriculture.
Supporters say the move would stop the Conservation Department from adopting regulations potentially harmful to deer ranches to deal with an outbreak of chronic wasting disease. It is caused by a mutated protein that attacks a deer's nervous system, but does not harm humans.
The Conservation Department has proposed closing Missouri's borders to importing deer, new fencing standards and mandatory enrollment of all captive herds. Bill opponents say conservation officials are better equipped to fight chronic wasting disease and that the regulations could help stop it.