RALEIGH, N.C. Nov. 17, 2011 – The District Attorney’s Office for Randolph County today dismissed charges against a man charged with holding deer illegally.

The case stems from charges against Clifton Wayne Kindley on Sept. 20, when a warrant was served on his unlicensed deer pen in Randolph County, resulting in nine deer being seized and euthanized.

According to North Carolina law, it is illegal to hold or confine deer, elk or other cervid animals in the state without a permit or license, with strict requirements necessary to safeguard the health and safety of wildlife resources, livestock and humans. In this case, Kindley had been notified repeatedly of these important requirements as far back as 2003.

“We recognize the district attorney’s authority to dismiss this charge; however, our actions in this matter, although unpopular, were directed towards safeguarding North Carolina’s wildlife resources,” said Gordon Myers, executive director of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. “Mr. Kindley’s actions created a lose-lose scenario putting statewide wildlife populations at risk. We simply cannot gamble with our wildlife.”

“Cases like this one are difficult for everyone involved,” said Col. Dale Caveny, chief of the Wildlife Commission’s Division of Law Enforcement. “It is illegal for anyone to possess deer unless they have a proper license or permit and comply with its conditions. Otherwise, the animals are considered contraband and their continued possession is illegal. Further, since 2002, except for fawns taken to licensed rehabilitators, it has been illegal to transfer deer between facilities. These measures have been in place to prevent introduction and spread of wildlife diseases including chronic wasting disease (CWD).”

According to Dr. David Cobb, chief of the Wildlife Commission’s Division of Wildlife Management, CWD is a serious threat to captive and wild deer and elk in North Carolina.

“Unfortunately, there is no CWD test that can be used on a live animal,” said Cobb. “Without knowing whether they harbored or had been exposed to disease, the deer that were being held in this pen could have transferred CWD or other diseases to other animals had they been moved to another location.

“From a biological perspective, once these animals were held in captivity in disregard of the requirements necessary to safeguard wildlife resources, the only, although unfortunate, course of action was to euthanize these animals.”

More information on the effects of CWD and other wildlife diseases is available from the Wildlife Commission at www.ncwildlife.org, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/cwd/ and the national CWD Alliance at www.cwd-info.org.

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