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Missouri suspends permits for new deer breeders, big game facilities

From Missouri Department of Conservation

-- Missouri has indefinitely suspended issuing permits for new big game hunting facilities and new wildlife breeding facilities that hold white-tailed deer or mule deer.

The regulation changes do not apply to wildlife breeders and game ranches with existing permits.

The suspension of issuing permits does not include wildlife breeders or game ranches who wish to hold approved wildlife species other than white-tailed deer or mule deer. Renewal of existing permits for hunting and breeding facilities will be considered under established requirements of the Wildlife Code.

“With Chronic Wasting Disease now in Missouri, this suspension of issuing permits for new deer breeders and hunting ranches is one of several actions to help protect free-ranging deer from CWD, and ensure the health of captive deer and other cervids,” according to Conservation Department Deputy Director Tom Draper.

Permit records show there are 27 permitted big game hunting preserves in Missouri with white-tailed deer, and 277 permitted wildlife breeders with white-tailed deer.

Prior to the ruling, the Department held open houses to share information and receive public feedback on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and Department actions to contain the disease.

Draper said the department continues to work with landowners, deer hunters, members of the captive cervid industry and others on the issue of CWD, and welcomes related comments at www.mdc.mo.gov/node/17901.

New federal regulations for the interstate movement and disease certification of captive deer and other cervids were recently open for review and comment through the Federal Register at www.federalregister.gov.

Additional information is pending publication. Draper said code changes also give MDC, deer breeders and others time to review these new regulations.

According to MDC, Missouri has more than 507,000 deer hunters who spend about $690 million in the state each year on deer hunting and related activities. This has an overall economic impact of $1.1 billion in Missouri each year and supports almost 12,000 jobs.  Detailed information can be found in the 2012 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet available at MDC offices, permit vendors and online at www.mdc.mo.gov.

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