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Old Aug 30th 2014, 10:37 AM   #1
  Nov 2012
  Garnett, Kansas

24pxWasting Argument Misses the Mark


Outdoor Guide Magazine

August 28, 2014 by admin in Guest Editorials, Outdoor News From Our Region


In a recent guest editorial, Steve Jones takes aim at the deer-farming industry and blames private deer and elk breeding facilities for the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). But his shots are off the mark — by a mile.

CWD is a concern to hunters for obvious reasons, but let’s keep it in perspective: According to USDA data, CWD’s prevalence in free-ranging deer and elk is about four in 1,000 — twice as high as it is among farmed cervids.

Certainly, deer hunters want to keep the prevalence of CWD everywhere as low as possible. So do deer and elk farmers. If an animal at a private breeding facility tests positive for CWD, then the entire herd could be destroyed. That’s something no cervid farming business owner wants. That’s why cervid farmers have supported smart and reasonable regulation.

There have been state monitoring programs for CWD for over a decade. In 2002, the cervid industry worked with USDA to implement a national CWD monitoring and herd certification program. Interstate movement of captive deer and elk is and has been regulated by the USDA through monitoring programs, and animals must meet stringent requirements and come from certified herds to cross state lines.

Mr. Jones tries to spread the perception that CWD is a cervid-farm problem, but that’s a skewed and self-serving perception. A breeder who is enrolled in a state certification program must test 100 percent of his eligible deaths for CWD. Eligible deaths are animals that are 12 months of age or older at the time of death.

In contrast, only approximately 1 percent of the free ranging deer and elk that die are tested for CWD.

A disease surveillance program can’t tell the whole story if there’s not adequate testing being done. And, once again, the testing that has been performed finds that CWD prevalence is twice as high in free-ranging deer and elk compared to deer and elk in breeding facilities.

Unfortunately, the “spin” put forth by Mr. Jones and others is easily used by the other side. The anti-hunting Humane Society of the United States, for instance, uses similar talking points to discredit deer and elk farmers. By making CWD seem like an apocalypse, animal-rights groups can scare the public about eating venison.

Pointing the finger at well-regulated cervid farms also fails to note hypocrisy from state agencies and wildlife groups. Consider Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota. The elk herd there had a 40 percent prevalence rate of CWD, but the herd still grew to the point where the land couldn’t support the animals.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Federation lobbied and helped fund the hiring of helicopters to herd about half the animals to Custer State Park last year. Wildlife agencies lowered sections of fence and released the animals. This was done under protests of state agriculture officials and the cervid farming community.

It’s a double standard. This release of animals with a high prevalence of CWD was done for the benefit of members of the Rocky Mountain Elk Federation by providing them more elk to hunt. Yet these same folks would be the first to bash cervid farming as a disease threat.

It’s easy to talk the talk, but some agencies wont walk the walk. In fact, wildlife agencies got themselves exempted from the USDA certification program’s requirements for moving animals.

On one hand, you have the captive-cervid industry, which is heavily regulated in moving animals between state lines. On the other, you have the wildlife agency attitude of, “We’ll do what we want.”

Which one is the bigger problem for folks who hunt deer and elk?

No one wants to see CWD spread, nor EHD, tuberculosis, or any other disease. But since CWD is in wild populations, as it has been for decades, advocating for the government to regulate deer and elk farms to death isn’t going to solve anything. It’s only going to hurt hunting’s image with the public, cost jobs, and give ammunition to the anti-hunting crowd.

Mr. Jones calls his screed “The Shame of Missouri Deer Hunters” because the Missouri Legislature listened to both sides of the issue and voted against him. The shame should be on him for continuing to spread misinformation.

Bugai owns Parkview Veterinary Center & Flying B Ranch Whitetails in Seguin, Texas. He is also a board member and vice president of the Texas Deer Association.


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Old Aug 30th 2014, 11:32 PM   #2
  Feb 2011
  Pierre SD

Excellent write up Dr. Bugai, Defiantly one of the best yet, the facts hit the mark,*THANKS. I think this report put out on the South Dakota Game Fish & Parks website*also hits the mark. This is the number of applicants and success rate of elk hunters in Custer state park which is HIGH FENCED and is next to Wind Cave national park(one of the highest CWD infection rates in the country supposedly). The truth is these people would love to hunt private high fence ranches but the fact that it costs money and*so called "rich"*people pay it*is what disturbs them the most. If every high fence ranch had a drawings for a free trophy hunts, they would all apply. I think it also points*out how these DNR peoples management plans have been working for them. It's pretty amazing they can go from harvesting 43 bulls in 2005 to just 3 in*2013. After*a few*years of record cow harvests, a*healthy*mountain lion management plan and*eventually it reaches the point of the population going backwards to where it's nearly impossible to ever get it back.*Gross Wildlife mismanagement*among most all*the states is*at a point where the public wants answers on where the game has gone*and these DNR groups feel they*need to point fingers and try and place the blame on someone else.*More and more people are turning*to private high fence hunting and management*because it works.
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Old Aug 31st 2014, 05:18 AM   #3
  Nov 2010
  Lanesboro, Minnesota

Wow, applications dropped in half? *What zone is this? *Doesn't application drops concern them? *Are less people interested in public hunting?

In Minnesota they are severely cutting doe tags, trying to rebuild the state deer herd. * Yet they don't think wolves are a problem in northern Minnesota!!!!!!!

It's interesting that the deer kill is down around 7% since 2005, yet they said in 2005 that deer hunting was a $500 million dollar economic impact in Minnesota. *Last winter at their public meeting, they said that the economic impact went up to $750 million dollars last year, even though the deer harvest was down 7%?????

So if I went into my bank, and said my business sales were down 7%, but my economic profitability went up 50%, they would believe me??????
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Old Aug 31st 2014, 09:20 AM   #4
  Feb 2011
  Pierre SD

Gary, You are right, less applicants, few licenses sold= less money coming into these DNR agencies. This is exactly*why they are so alarmed at our industry becoming more and more accepted. Once you run out of a product, no one will come into your store and eventually your out of business. They used to*charge *you to apply and get a preference point and now people are so discouraged knowing they will probably never draw a tag anyways, they just don't apply. 15,000 applicants charged $5 for application fee, they used to pocket $45,000 just for selling the hope that some day they would have a chance at a*FREE high fence trophy bull!!! Our state has also done away with the doe tags that they used to practically give away so the Wildlife Federation babies would quit whining about not having anything to shoot. They would sell a triple antlerless tag for $30,*good for 3 antlerless deer(usually 2 button bucks and a bred doe with another button buck inside her). Then they would supply all the people with a $75 voucher PER DEER*if they donate it to the feed the hungry program. Take in $30, spend $225, take out 3 future bucks and a breeding age doe and go $195 into the hole, yah,*I guess that makes sense!!!. Now they still can't figure out where all the deer have gone, it has to be EHD (that we deal with every year here)??? If I tried to run a business this way, they'd run me right out of the bank, probably escort me, thinking I'm not mentally right. Our predator problem is so out of control now and deer numbers down that even with no doe harvests the numbers will still continue to decline.
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Old Aug 31st 2014, 10:14 AM   #5
 Bell's Avatar
  Apr 2014
  Greensburg, IN
Well put Cody!
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Old May 18th 2021, 12:57 AM   #6
  May 2021
Up all night financial planning services phoenix
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