Tennessee law could negatively affect taxidermists in the state.
More and more states are beginning to enforce deer carcass importation bans as wildlife officials continue to work to combat the spread of chronic wasting disease or CWD.
But there are some unseen side effects to these types of bans and one Tennessee lawmaker is working to help out some taxidermists that could be hit hard the state’s new ban on importing deer, moose and elk carcasses from CWD-positive states.
CWD is not currently in Tennessee, so it’s easy to see why authorities would like to keep it that way. But less obvious was how the ban might affect some people’s livelihood. “Probably 50 to 60 percent of my business is out of state,” taxidermist Jason Roberts told WJHL.
The solution being suggested by Republican representative Bud Hulsey in many ways mirrors what has been done in other states. “One, you can have it de-boned and processed where you killed it and then bring it in,” he told the news station. “Or you can bring it in the state but you have to take it immediately to a taxidermist or meat processing place.”
Such carcass importation bans aren’t exclusive to Tennessee as more and more states try to crack down on hunters bringing in out of state animals.
In one case in Alabama this past hunting season, an Alabama man was caught and hit with charges for bringing a deer carcass into the state from Illinois.
Back in 2015, Michigan authorities actually conducted a sting operation in which several people were charged for illegally bringing carcasses into the great lakes state.
As long as CWD keeps being an issue, it’s likely these types of legal problems will continue as well.