boone and crockett club position statement
REGULATION OF GAME FARMS
The captive cervid industry, also referred to as game farming, uses artificial means to breed captive deer, elk, and other cervids for sale in shooting preserve operations. These game farms commonly transport captive deer and elk to other shooting preserves in a state or in other states.
Transportation of captive, game farm animals has been shown to increase the risk of spreading parasites and infectious, diseases, such as chronic wasting disease (CWD) and bovine tuberculosis, to other captive and wild cervids in new locations. There is currently no way of testing live animals for CWD, and infected animals show no signs for at least 16-18 months post-infection. There is no vaccine, and despite fenced enclosures, captive animals often come in contact with wild populations thereby spreading diseases. Once CWD is present, the area cannot be decontaminated even if infected animals are removed. As a result, many states have banned or are attempting to ban the importation of captive cervids (as well as intact carcasses of hunter-killed, wild cervids) to lower the risk of spreading CWD and other infectious diseases.
The Boone and Crockett Club supports state bans on importing or exporting captive deer and elk by game farming operations in order to protect the health of native populations. The Club opposes any legislation aimed at relaxing regulations governing captive cervid breeding operations or removing management authority over such operations from state wildlife agencies. The Club does not oppose the transportation of wild cervids by state agencies and non-governmental organizations for the purpose of re-establishing wild game animals to their historic, open ranges.
The breeding of captive deer, elk, and other cervids for profit to create abnormally large “trophy” animals for fenced shoots under non-fair chase conditions are addressed in the Boone and Crockett Club’s positions on “Genetic Manipulation of Game” and “Canned Shoots.”