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NC Legislative

Senate Meeting on December 14th

Posted by RiseNC on December 17, 2011

December 14th a meeting was held with Senator Rouzer and Dr. Jeff Warren. Both gentlemen were receptive to all information.  We  discussed issues that concern farmers, hunters, taxidermists and rehabbers.  Senator Rouzer stated he would research the Farming Industry.  Overall an excellent meeting for all concerned. Millie

Information provided to Senator Rouzer by The Cervid Farmers at the Senae Meeting

In 1967 a disease affecting captured wild mule deer was observed at a wildlife research facility in Ft. Collins, Colorado.  Today we know it as CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease).  It also affected deer at Wyoming’s Sybill Wildlife Research Facility in southeast Wyoming.  Colorado and Wyoming have experienced the disease the longest which is over 40 years.   Wyoming has one private elk farm.  Colorado and Wyoming have no private whitetail deer farms.   Both states have expanding wild deer and elk herds.  In the 1980’s research was conducted on 31 healthy mule deer in Ft. Collins, Colorado.  Ten deer were exposed to a CWD positive live deer.  Twelve deer were exposed to a CWD positive deer carcass that had been decaying for 1.8 years before exposure.  Nine deer were exposed to an area where a CWD positive live deer had resided earlier.  After a year of exposure, 6 deer tested CWD positive.  Three were deer exposed to the decaying carcass.  A couple questions came from the results of this research.  Why were all the deer not infected and why is animal to animal contact, which funnels blame and finger pointing toward deer farmers, considered by wildlife agencies the most likely way the disease is spread?  We know government research contributed to the spread of CWD in Colorado and Wyoming.  It is fact CWD entered Wisconsin by an animal part which was a mule deer brain clinically infected with CWD for research at the University of Wisconsin in Madison (see article 1a & 1b).  Maryland, Virginia, and New Mexico have no deer farming but CWD has shown up in their wild deer.  Utah, Illinois, West Virginia and North Dakota have deer-elk farming and presently their herds are healthy but they have CWD in the wild.  In Michigan CWD has shown up in a captive herd due to the mishandling of a carcass.  In New York,   mishandling of a carcass or a wild deer to be rehabilitated were the culprits (see article 2).  As you can see CWD can be spread more than one way.  Even though deer farmers receive most of the blame for the spread of CWD, fact and research show that carcasses handled improperly are the biggest threat, not deer farmers.  A lot more needs to be done to educate those who handle dead deer or elk on how to dispose of carcasses properly.

Here in North Carolina the NCWRC has had a strangle hold on deer farmers since May 2002.  However, the strangle hold has loosened a little due to rule proposals resulting in rule changes one of which was the implementing of a herd certification program.  This greatly helps in disease prevention and insuring we have healthy herds, but we still have more to do.

Deer-Elk farming is a 3 billion dollar a year industry in the U.S.  It employs thousands.  Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania are probably the largest deer farming states and are CWD free.

I recently read where a whitetail doe fawn sold for $160,000 in Ohio.  This is surely good genetics.  Hunters are attracted to large antlers and this is why a large number of N.C. hunters hunt out of state each. year.  A whitetail buck with a Boone & Crocket score of 180 to 200 can be worth $15,000.00 to $20,000.00.  Some deer have sold for $250,000.00 or more and some are worth even more when selling their semen for artificial breeding.

“Deer Antler: Medical Wonder, Future hope” is the heading of a recent magazine article I read.  It’s about stem cell research involving deer antlers.  The article is lengthy and is in the spring 2011 Issue of Deer Tracking Magazine (www.deertracking.com).  It appears there may be some great opportunities in deer farming we aren’t yet aware of.  Some occupations and businesses we are aware of that benefit from deer farming are taxidermists, veterinarians, wildlife biologist, meat processors, grocery stores, country stores, airlines, car rental, feed companies, restaurants, motels, drug stores, gun and ammo sales, archery equipment sales, hunting clothing, general hunting supplies, auto repair shops, farmers and more.  Also, county, state and federal government benefits from more tax revenue.

The NCWRC want to protect the wild deer in North Carolina and we deer farmers understand we are hunters too.  However, we farmers want to protect our deer farms and wild deer.  Deer farming would bring more hunting choices, bigger deer to hunt and could possibly help in genetically improving the NC deer herd.

The deer farming industry is perhaps the fastest growing industry in rural America.  Economic impact studies from 2006-2007 estimated the impact of the industry in the U.S.  Breeding operations expenditures averaged $101,000.00 per year.  The direct economic impact is $893.5 million dollars.  Hunters are major customers of the deer farming industry.  Catering to hunters added another $757 million dollars.  The total impact combining farming and hunting components is $3 billion dollars annually.  The industry supports 29,199 jobs most of which are in rural America.

Texas has a growing deer farming industry and a growing exotic wildlife industry.  Some species of deer such as fallow, axis and muntjac, which are not susceptible to CWD, are considered exotic. The total impact of the exotic industry is $1.3 billion dollars of which $254 million is spent by hunters.  The industry also supports 14,383 jobs mostly in rural areas.  Pennsylvania’s deer farming industry is growing.  In 2007 the industries economic impact was $103 million dollars creating 3,500 jobs.  Some other great opportunities in deer farming are in further developing existing markets such as the one for venison.  Data supplied by the USDA shows venison to be a very healthy meat product with less fat, cholesterol and calories than turkey, chicken or salmon.  Also velvet antlers, deer skin leather and antler crafts have economic value.  Unfortunately we are prohibited from selling any part of a whitetail deer in N.C.  It was recently reported that N.C. is first nationwide in acres of farmland lost to development.  Deer farms can occupy and therefore protect 10 acres to thousands of acres.

The United Special Sportman’s Alliance (USSA) is a charity organization that takes critically ill children and physically impaired children and disabled veterans on hunting trips nationwide.  The deer farming industry is very receptive to these types of hunts. The success rate for one of these hunts versus hunting in the wild is 99.9% to 30% (with 30% being the hunt in the wild).
Each year these children from N.C. go out of state to hunt on deer farms and there is a 100% success rate for these hunts.

As you can see by this information, deer farming should be welcomed in North Carolina instead of being considered a thre

Letters to Senators & Representatives November 2, 2011

Dear North Carolina Legislative Community,

My name is Millie and I am a resident of Liberty, NC. I am writing with regard to the recent slaughter of 9 deer in Randolph County owned by Mr. Wayne Kindley.

I have always been a supporter of the NC Wildlife Resource Commission and had taken the Hunter Safety Course when my son was a member of the 4-H Shooting Club in Guilford County. It was an excellent class and provided invaluable lessons for the McLeansville Wildlife Club.

However, I was stunned by this tragedy and, after doing my research online, I began a petition on Change.org. Ms. Corinne Bell, a staff member of Change.org, contacted investigative reporter Chad Tucker at WGHP 8. Mr. Tucker sent the information to me and I immediately contacted Change.org and began this petition. At the present time, we have over 20,000 signatures from around the world and 2000 comments that attest to the level of shock, horror and disappointment in the way that this matter was handled and how wildlife officials took it upon themselves to slaughter the deer when the warrant specified that the deer should be held. Yes, I read all 2000 comments. People are outraged from all over the world. Some who have commented have had their own captive tame deer slaughtered in North Carolina and across the country. This issue has received so much attention from around the world that an online platform (RiseNC.org) has already been put in place to help further drive awareness to this issue.

Internet access in today’s world allows so many people to learn information quickly. I was upset not only that other animals are being murdered in NC but that this is happening all over the US. Another issue that I’d like to bring to your attention is the fact that people around the world are so disgusted with the actions of the NC game wardens that they are canceling vacations in our state. I am proud to be a resident of NC and have been living here since 1975. I have traveled the world since my father served in the US Army for 26 years. Yes, my family choose the beautiful state of NC as our home and I am ashamed by the actions of the NC Wildlife Resource Commission and also the game wardens’ actions.

I appeal to you to investigate this tragedy in order to find a better way to care for our wildlife and domestic animals. The recent tragedy in Ohio with the destruction of 49 animals is one more reason to investigate and find a better way to avoid any more situations of animals being shot. A system and plan needs to be implemented to avoid any more tragedies in our treasured state.

Also, I feel it is imperative to design a better system to deal with deer and other wildlife in NC. We can do this. We can set the standards for the world. We can establish a model and precedent for our other 49 sister states. There is a better way and we can determine a method that would allow us to not only honor animals but manage the people that care for the animals. We have the resources and the people to find the best way to implement a plan that advocate our stewardship for animals and the environment.

I was appalled by this event involving Mr. Kindley and quickly began to investigate. I wanted to share with each of you what I have discovered. I urge you to please reference RiseNC.org for information regarding the significance of this problem and the pain it is causing throughout our homeland, and for supporting research that highlight major faults in the NC Wildlife Resource Commission’s approach to containing CWD in North Carolina:

Included Content on RiseNC.org:

Chronic Wasting Disease Research that reveals fallow deer are not susceptible to Chronic Wasting Disease
Information that concerns alternative means of testing Chronic Wasting Disease in Deer
Letters from Veterinarians
News stories from WGHP 8, WRAL 5, and Associated Press News Releases
First-hand stories from NC citizens affected by NC Wildlife Resource Commissions’ actions
Comments from concerned NC Citizens
North Carolina Wildlife News Releases by Director Gordon Myers

Thank you so much for reading this letter and reviewing the linked information.

Highest Regards,

Dear Senators and Representatives of North Carolina,
My name is Jo Henderson. I live in Sophia, NC. I am writing to respectfully ask for your help and consideration in changing policy in the 2012 legislative year.
The killing of the 9 innocent deer happened close to my home. More importantly, the white- tailed doe, named Jazzell, was raised by me so I am personally involved in this case. We have the numbers on Change.org and locally to effect change in wildlife policy. What the wardens did here was slay a tame deer that was being rehabilitated. She had only one eye. It might not matter to you that my deer is dead and gone, but I am part Cherokee and we honor the deer. The NC Wildlife Resource Commission that ordered her to be shot should be held accountable for this needless killing. I want an investigation into Gordon Myers and the Commission. I will not stop until I get justice for the white-tailed doe named Jazzelle. I loved her and still do. I will not be silent until the people involved with her death are investigated. The state wardens that serve this area are trigger-happy and wanton with their disregard for animal life. The state of North Carolina can do better than this.

People are outraged at the way this was handled. All I know is that a deer who only wanted to eat marshmallows out of your hand and lick your face with loving kisses was murdered that day.

Please help us prevent this from ever happening again. I, as a Cherokee, ask you to look deep into what we call the inner circle of your heart and find a way for us to stop this.

Thank You.


COMMENTS From NC Legislatures

Office of the Governor Bev Perduer

Thank you for contacting the Office of Governor Bev Perdue. We are here to serve you, and want to acknowledge receipt of your correspondence. Suggestions and comments will be read and referred to the appropriate staff member. If you submitted a question or request for assistance, we will follow up with you as soon as possible.

Rep. John Torbett
Thank you for your email and concern. I received the following response and answers relative to questions regarding the incident you mention in your email. Many members of your General Assembly, like me, are concerned and are following up on your emails. Continued with Releases from NC Wildlife Resource Commission. The Kindleys and their supporters are not on the agenda for the business meeting of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission; however, the board is aware that a petition will be delivered and the board is prepared to accept that petition. Because there is a criminal case pending, it would not be appropriate to invite stakeholder involvement prior to the final disposition. The Commission is aware of the public interest generated by this case and after final disposition; the Commission will provide ample opportunities for interested stakeholders to provide input regarding the Commission’s captive cervid policies.

Rep. Pat Hurley
Thank you for your e-mail concerning this most serious issue.
Because this happened in Randolph County, I have been doing my homework also. I have talked to several people and am seeing what can be done. It is a very sad situation. Since there will probably be litigation, I will be listening to both sides. I couldn’t open the RiseNC.org website but I will try again. North Carolina does have some laws and policies in place but I am trying to see what actually happened and why Mr. Kindley didn’t have a permit also. I have already had one meeting about this and have another one scheduled next week. The actions of all involved need to be explained. I feel sure this will happen. Do you have any suggestions for keeping this from happening again? Where are the petitions?
I appreciate the opportunity to serve.
Rep. Pat Hurley

Rep. Efton Sager
I have reviewed the incident and will act to insure that what action is taken in the future is in the best interest of North Carolina.
Rep. Efton Sager

Sen. Ellie Kinnaird
Thank you for your email. The information below was provided to our office by the NC Wildlife Commission. Continues with Releases from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.

Rep. Carney’s Office
Rep. Carney appreciates you taking the time to write and has asked our Research Division to look into the situation.
Bonnie Trivette
Legislative Assistant

Sen. Rick Gunn
Thank you for your email and for sharing your concerns regarding the protection of our wildlife in North Carolina. Since receiving your email Senate staff has contacted the NC Wildlife Resources Commission to investigate the events in question. Currently any deer being held captive in a facility must be licensed by the WRC, in order to minimize/contain the spread of disease. Below you will find the official response to this situation from Executive Director Gordon Myers. The attached information should assist in clarifying the current laws in which the NCWRC is bound by. The deer that were put down are being tested for CWD, and if they are to be found CWD positive, the WRC would immediately activate their CWD emergency plan in response.
Included News Release from Gordon Myers on Sept. 30th.
We will continue to monitor this situation and actions taken by the NCWRC. Again, thank you for contacting Sen. Gunn’s office and for sharing your concerns. Please contact our office if you have any questions.

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3 Responses to “NC Legislative”

  1. cljohnson said

    Senator Gunn’s office contacted the wrong people for factual information concerning fallow deer and seems to consider fallows as a native wild animal which is subject to contract Chronic Wasting Disease. However he did respond which is more than he did when I contacted his office. He mentioned Mr. Gorden Myers as a source of information and that the WRC would immediately activate their CWD emergency plan if a CWD positive animal was found.
    Would someone please inform Mr. Myers and Sen. Gunn that WRC will not find a CWD positive fallow deer and for that reason alone fallows should be placed under the states agriculture department,and be regulated just as sheep and goats. Wildlife knows that even if fifty fallows escapped like the ones that escapped from Dr. Hart’s farm some years ago. They did no harm to other farms in the area and were all killed by deer hunters within several years, Dr. Hart lost his deer and some lucky deer hunters gained some very delicious venison. Regulations can be changed, we read regulations governing certain animals and form an openion of this said animal but we realy know nothing about the animal itself. Knowing the beautiful harmless fallow deer I get sick when I hear of their slaughter on farms throughout our state. We will come to regret their loss one day.

  2. RiseNC said

    justice said
    December 21, 2011 at 8:26 am e

    Let’s face it. You got what was coming to you. You failed to follow the laws of North Carolina and held deer illegally in captivity. It is you who caused the death of those deer, not the government! By disregarding the laws of North Carolina, you put the health of our native, free-ranging white-tailed deer in jeapordy so you could make a buck. Don’t try to hide behind civil rights and constitutional injustices. The laws you broke where legally approved and are valid under our state constitution. You are not a victim, you are a criminal.

  3. RiseNC said

    RiseNC said
    January 21, 2012 at 7:47 am e

    @Justice – Your remarks are despicable and ignorant… and we’re just getting started doing what we do best.

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