The Pope & Young Club recently sent a congratulatory letter to Gov. Nixon of Missouri for vetoing Senate bill 506 and House bill 2613 that would have classified captive deer as “livestock” thereby falling under the regulation of the Agriculture Department.

According to IndyStar.com – “Missouri’s deer breeders pushed heavily for the legislation in opposition to wildlife officials’ plans to ban the importation of deer and require double fencing. Wildlife officials in Missouri narrowly maintained their authority to regulate the controversial operations. Missouri lawmakers failed by one vote to override Gov. Nixon’s veto of a bill that would have shifted regulation of deer ranches to the state Agriculture Department. The state Senate voted to override the veto, but the House fell one vote shy of the two-thirds majority needed. The legislation would have classified captive deer as “livestock” — like cattle and pigs — rather than as “wildlife.”

The Club and its membership steadfastly support and promote the North American Wildlife Conservation Model. This model faces a serious threat from today’s captive cervid industry. The practices of “canned” hunting, transporting and selling “farm raised” cervids threaten the very existence of North American Big Game and hunting as we know it.

These canned shoot situations present further concerns that impact the future of bowhunting. They weaken the public acceptance of legitimate fair chase bowhunting, provide possibilities for transmitting diseases, and corrupt the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. Animals held, or bred and raised for the purpose of trophy harvest, in these facilities are not considered wildlife. The killing of these animals is not managed by the authority of a wildlife management agency and the killing, itself, is devoid of any values embodied by legitimate hunting.

Watch Gov. Nixon’s Captive Deer Veto Speech:

Image courtesy Pope & Young Club

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