Wildlife or privately owned stock?
Gov. Jay Nixon announced his veto today of two different bills containing language that would change the regulation of white-tail deer in the state of Missouri.
Senate Bill 506 and House Bill 1326 both contained provisions redefining captive cervids as privately owned livestock instead of wildlife. The change would mean that the Missouri Department of Agriculture, not Conservation, would oversee the regulation of captive deer populations across the state, and the deer would be regulated in similar ways to privately owned cattle or elk.
“For us, it’s a lot like the elk in this state,” said Sam James, President of the Missouri Whitetail Deer Association. “In Missouri there are two kinds of elk, there’s the elk out in the wild that are treated like wildlife, and then there’s the elk that people own as private property, and they are both treated differently. All we are trying to do is say that in our operations, our deer are privately owned livestock.”