Governor Jay Nixon (D) has vetoed two agriculture bills that, among other provisions, would have added captive deer to the definition of “livestock” in state statute, thereby putting them under the control of the Missouri Department of Agriculture rather than the Department of Conservation. His announcement of the vetoes focused on those provisions.
The provision is backed by the captive deer industry, who says regulations adopted recently that would ban importation of white-tailed deer and other cervids from other states, and enact tougher fencing requirements, could cause operators to shut down.
Proponents of the regulations say they are necessary to fight chronic wasting disease (CWD). The Conservation Department says CWD is not a threat to humans, but threatens the state’s deer herd, and the hunting industry tied to it.