What’s involved in chronic wasting disease control? A lot of money, if you ask Missouri.
The Southeast Missourian reported that in order to battle the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) among captive deer herds in the state, regulations and management changes will need to take effect.
Among the preventative procedures list suggested by the Missouri Department of Conservation are: closing Missouri’s borders to importing deer; new fencing standards; mandatory enrollment of all captive herds in the CWD monitoring program; and testing all captive deer that die from six months of age and older.
Deer breeders have been increasingly targeted as culprits of CWD spreading, despite the fact that their herds are typically kept behind fences and separated from wild deer.
No new cases of CWD in wild deer were discovered in 2013, but new cases have been discovered in nearby states.
The new fencing standards is one measure that has large success potential. Captive and wild deer have been known to still make contact through fences, and the proposed change to double fences should take care of that.
However, deer breeders doubt the changes will amount to much more than a huge boost in the money spent. Some doubt the ranchers will be able to afford the estimated $1 million needed for the potential requirements.
Opponents to the new restrictions are working to get legislation passed that would classify whitetail deer as livestock, which would be under the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s jurisdiction. Elk, for example, have been classified as livestock in the state since 1995.