In an effort to combat a disease seen in deer, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission implemented new policies for deer breeding businesses.
Chronic wasting disease is a neurological condition that causes weight loss, pneumonia, behavior changes, and other problems in deer, and was discovered last year at a breeding facility.
In order to combat this disease, Texas Parks and Wildlife has increased regulation, including postmortem testing of deer and restriction of transportation of breeder dear across the state.
According to some who oppose deer breeding, the disease threatens not only the breeder deer but the wild deer as well. Wild deer hunting is a multi-billion dollar industry in Texas.
Deer breeders, however, believe the vote was “rigged to the benefit of large range owners” at the expense of the small breeder businesses. “It’s a bunch of elitists. I can’t explain it any simpler than that,” said Hugo Berlanga, a board member of the Texas Deer Association.
Texas Park and Wildlife voted after several months of meetings and discussions with all interested parties Breeders, ranch owners, environmentalists, and others all had an opportunity to voice their concerns.
The deer breeders have already filed a lawsuit in response to the vote.