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Missouri Conservation Organizations Collectively Support Governor Nixon’s Vetoes of Captive Deer Legislation

SB 506 and HB 1326 threaten MDC’s constitutional authority of wildlife

Jefferson City, MO – July 21, 2014 - The undersigned conservation organizations, which represent hundreds-of-thousands of Missouri hunters, anglers and wildlife enthusiasts, support Governor Nixon’s decision to veto SB 506 and HB 1326. Governor Nixon’s efforts to protect the health of Missouri’s white-tailed deer herd and the constitutional authority of the Missouri Department of Conservation to manage wildlife are applauded. These vetoes must not be overridden.

SB 506 and HB 1326 would force the transfer of captive white-tailed deer authority from the Missouri Department of Conservation to the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Both agencies are opposed to the legislation. This transfer would reclassify captive white-tailed deer from “wildlife” to “livestock” and could potentially increase the risk of Chronic Wasting Disease, a highly contagious and always-fatal neurological disease.

The conservation community of Missouri collectively requests our state legislators support the vetoes of SB 506 and HB 1326.

Quotes from Missouri Conservation Leaders

“The Conservation Federation of Missouri applauds Governor Nixon for vetoing SB 506 and HB 1326. White-tailed deer are wildlife. Thankfully, our Governor has taken necessary measures to protect one of our state’s most treasured public resources.” Brandon Butler, Executive Director of the Conservation Federation of Missouri.

“White-tailed deer are the number one game species in Missouri, with over 500,000 hunters pursuing them each year. The Quality Deer Management Association is proud of Governor Nixon’s strong support of white-tailed deer, and his action to protect the species.” Tom Rizzo, Missouri State Chair of the Quality Deer Management Association.

“Missouri has a proud history of non-partisan, science-based management of our state’s wildlife, thanks to the Missouri Department of Conservation.  The Sierra Club supports Governor Nixon’s vetoes of SB 506 and HB 1326, which would overturn the successful system that has worked for over 50 years, and which would threaten the future of Missouri’s deer population.” John Hickey, Chapter Director of Missouri Sierra Club.

“Although the National Wild Turkey Federation is concerned about CWD and its consequences if not adequately addressed, the primary reason that we are taking a stance on Governor Nixon’s vetoes of SB 506 and HB 1326 is that the Missouri Department of Conservation’s constitutional authority is being usurped by the legislature. CWD is just the vehicle they chose to get there. We trust the agency and prefer for them to continue to be calling the shots on this and any other resource management related issue.” John Burk, Missouri Regional Biologist for the National Wild Turkey Federation.

“Governor Nixon’s vetoes of the captive deer legislation sent a strong message that Missouri is concerned with protecting wildlife for the present and future generations. The Missouri Hunting Heritage Federation wants to express our support of these vetoes and our gratitude to the Governor for keeping the responsibility of managing Missouri’s wildlife species the purview of the Missouri Department of Conservation.” Lee Vogel, President of the Missouri Hunting Heritage Federation.

Conservation Organizations in Support of SB 506 and HB 1326 Vetoes:
Anglers of Missouri
Boone & Crockett Club
Burroughs Audubon Society of Kansas City
Central Missouri Safari Club
Conservation Federation of Missouri
Greenbelt Land Trust of Mid-Missouri
Heart of America Flyfishers
Missouri Big Game Hunters
Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative
Missouri Black Bear Foundation
Missouri Bowhunters Association
Missouri Chapter of The Nature Conservancy
Missouri Chapter of The Sierra Club
Missouri Chapter of The Wildlife Society
Missouri Conservation Pioneers
Missouri Deer Hunters Association
Missouri Hunters Education Instructors Association
Missouri Hunting Heritage Federation
Missouri Parks Association
Missouri Pheasants Forever
Missouri Prairie Foundation
Missouri Quail Forever
Missouri Trappers Association
Missouri Trout Fishermen’s Association
Missouri Wild Elk Institute
Mississippi Valley Duck Hunters
Mule Deer Foundation
National Wild Turkey Federation
National Wildlife Federation
Northside Conservation Federation
Ozark Wilderness Waterways Club
Pope & Young Club
Quail & Upland Wildlife Federation
Quality Deer Management Association
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Trout Unlimited – Ozark Council
United Bowhunters of Missouri
Whitetails Unlimited

Take Action
Contact your legislators today and tell them you support MDC maintaining control of captive deer. Ask them to stand for conservation and support the vetoes of
SB 506 and HB 1326.

To identify your state legislators: Click Here