North Carolina Deer & Elk Farmers Association
An association ensuring the future of whitetail deer, elk, and other cervidae farming within our state

WV legislature votes to move WV Deer Farmers to Dept. of AG.

February 12, 2015


The State Journal
Posted: Feb 12, 2015 2:23 PM
By Erin Timony
In an 88-12 vote, the House of Delegates passed Senate Bill 237, the Captive Cervid Farming Act on the House floor Feb. 12.
Under the proposed bill, the Department of Agriculture, rather than the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, would oversee the Cervid, or deer, Farming regulations.
Under an amendment by Delegate Bill Anderson, R-Wood, Delegate Larry Williams, D-Preston and Delegate Brent Boggs, D-Braxton, potential cervid livestock could not be have had chronic wasting disease or any other disease five years prior.
Boggs spoke against the bill, voicing potential health issues and disease that could be spread by the livestock. He also suggested the Division of Natural Resources and Department of Agriculture gradually work together until full authority is transferred to the Department of Agriculture.
Williams, Delegate Randy Smith, R-Preston, and others said the 18 years of waiting for the change to the law has been long enough.
Smith, a licensed trout farmer, said it makes sense the Department of Agriculture be the agency to regulate livestock since livestock more naturally falls under the agricultural arena. Whenever his trout population has experienced health problems, Smith said it is the Department of Agriculture that has rectified the situation.
Other delegates who voiced support for the proposed legislation also said it had the potential to diversify the agricultural economy, allow people the freedom to participate in agricultural activity and bring revenue into the state due to not having to import venison.
At the end of the day, Anderson said it is time to tell the Division of Natural Resources, "we want to go a different direction."
For the potential deer farmers, he said farmers can finally say, "Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty we are free at last.

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