TWF shares opposition to pending farm bill
Posted: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 8:02 pm
TWF Position Statement on HB1112/SB1568 – “The White-tailed Deer Breeding
and Farming Act”
The Board of Directors of the Tennessee Wildlife Federation has voted unanimously to oppose the White-tailed Deer Breeding and Farming Act (HB1112/SB1568) that has been introduced in the Tennessee General Assembly.
Aside from the ethical concerns and public stigma surrounding captive animals that have been bred, bought and sold to be shot in small enclosures or pens, the well-documented risk of disease associated with captive cervid populations represents a potentially devastating threat to our abundant natural herds of white-tailed deer, as well as to our state’s domestic livestock and, arguably, to humans.
Federal and state agencies, universities and private organizations across the nation have spent hundreds of millions of dollars studying and fighting Chronic Wasting Disease, bovine tuberculosis, and other fatal diseases that have been discovered in captive cervids and in wild deer and elk populations near captive cervid facilities.
Hunting, photographing, and watching wildlife in Tennessee provide hundreds of millions of dollars annually to Tennessee’s economy.
Through TWF’s Hunters for the Hungry program, Tennessee deer hunters and processors provide hundreds of thousands of meals each year through venison donations.
Our white-tailed deer herd – nearly extinct a half-century ago – is as healthy as it’s ever been in recorded history. The restoration of our native wild elk population has been a nationally celebrated success.
TWF is proud to join with numerous conservation organizations, and countless veterinarians, wildlife biologists, communicable disease specialists, hunters and wildlife lovers in voicing our opposition to legislation that would represent an unnecessary and potentially irresponsible risk to our state’s priceless natural resources.
We respectfully request that responsible members of the legislature and others with a serious concern about the potentially devastating impacts of this business review the many research materials available at our website, www.tnwf.org, before taking a final position on captive deer farming in Tennessee.