With a heavy focus on containing the spread of the fatal chronic wasting disease inside Missouri’s borders, a local fair chase advocacy group is petitioning the captive breeding industry in the show-me state.
With the disease continuing to spread in many areas of the country, much of the focus has turned to the captive breeding industry, seen by some as the breeding grounds for this devastating disease affecting wild deer herds.
The Missouri Hunters for Fair Chase originally submitted four versions of a petition to the Missouri Secretary of State since March but have since trimmed it to two. Aiming to protect the native deer population, the current versions would ban the importation of captive big game such as deer, elk, moose, mountain goats and javelin in Missouri.
The fine print would also require all privately owned big game animals be placed under the authority of the Missouri Conservation Commission, rather than the Department of Agriculture, where it is now managed.
After the state discovered its first case of CWD in the wild back in 2012, Steve Jones, secretary of Missouri Hunters for Fair Chase believes humans are responsible for bringing the disease into Missouri.
“The circumstantial evidence is overwhelming,” Jones told the Columbus Missourian. “They trucked the disease into Missouri.”