Proposed Regulation Changes

The Missouri Department of Conservation follows the Secretary of State’s established process for making changes to the Code of State Regulations. This process calls for state agencies to conduct a 30-day public comment period for each proposed rule, amendment, or rescission and to consider those comments prior to filing a final order of rulemaking.

Only those comments received during the formal public comment period will be reported to the Secretary of State.

3 CSR 10- 4.110: General Prohibition; Applications

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Purpose: This amendment further clarifies terminology within the rule with respect to wildlife raised or held in captivity. The Conservation Commission has constitutional authority over all bird, fish, game, forestry, and wildlife resources of the state.

3 CSR 10- 9.220: Wildlife Confinement Standards

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Purpose: This amendment provides clarification, detailed enclosure specifications for the confinement of cervids, and disallows the confinement of white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids in mobile exhibits and auction facilities.As part of this amendment, the commission invites the public to specifically comment on whether the proposed fencing standards contained in 3 CSR 10-9.220(3) should be applied to all existing permittees, and if so, what timeframe, if any, should be allowed for permittees to bring their facility into compliance with the proposed fencing standards.   This amendment provides for clarification of the rule with respect to wildlife.  The Conservation Commission has constitutional authority over all bird, fish, game, forestry, and wildlife resources of the state.   Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a disease that infects deer and other members of the deer family.  It is transmitted by prions, which are abnormal proteins that attack the nervous system, and is always fatal to the infected animal.  CWD is spread both directly from deer to deer and indirectly to deer from infected soil and other surfaces.  CWD prions accumulate in the brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, and lymph nodes of infected animals.  Once well established in an area, CWD is impossible to eradicate.  States with CWD must focus on limiting the spread of the disease and preventing its introduction to new areas.  CWD could substantially reduce infected cervid populations by lowering adult survival rates and destabilizing long-term population dynamics. Infectious diseases such as CWD threaten Missouri’s deer herd, Missouri's nearly five hundred and twenty thousand (520,000) deer hunters, millions of wildlife watchers, thousands of landowners, twelve thousand (12,000) Missouri jobs, and hundreds of businesses and communities that depend on the approximately $1 billion boost in economic activity related to deer hunting and watching.  There is currently no approved live animal test for CWD, tests can only be performed on dead animals.  Additionally, there is a lag-time between infection and detection based on current methods.  Therefore, it is not possible to determine the disease status of individual animals.  The current federal CWD-herd certification program is simply a means of reducing risk by monitoring a herd by testing for disease in animals from a herd that die.  It does not indicate a disease-free status for any herd; it only establishes a level of risk associated with each particular herd.  Consequently, it is crucial to reduce the risk of infection and spreading of the disease.  This regulation is intended to reduce the spread of CWD and other diseases by limiting deer to deer contact through more effective barriers between captive and free-ranging deer. The first two (2) cases of CWD in Missouri were found in 2010 and 2011 at two (2) private big-game hunting preserves in Linn and Macon counties.  Following those discoveries, the first two (2) cases of CWD in free-ranging deer were confirmed in 2012 in northwest Macon County.  To date, Missouri’s confirmed cases of CWD total eleven (11) in captive deer from the private hunting preserves and ten (10) in free-ranging deer harvested in Macon County.  Movement of animals between captive facilities elevates the risk of further spreading the disease to new areas of the state.  Initial reports of CWD outbreaks in numerous states, including Missouri, have occurred at captive breeding sites.  In the past nine (9) years, the number of states with confirmed CWD in free-ranging deer and elk has nearly doubled from eight (8) to fifteen (15).  In captive herds, CWD has expanded from twenty-seven (27) to thirty-nine (39) in captive elk herds and from two (2) to seventeen (17) in captive deer herds.  Once CWD has been identified in a state, the documentation of CWD in both captive and free-ranging animals indicates that disease transmission has occurred between those groups of animals.  Current fencing standards are not sufficient to eliminate the risk of captive cervid escapes from captive facilities or the possibility of deer to deer contact through the fence.  Approximately one hundred fifty (150) escaped cervids have been reported by breeding and big game hunting preserve facilities to the Missouri Department of Conservation over the last three (3) years.  Published research from Michigan suggests that double fencing will reduce direct contact between free-ranging and captive cervids via escapes and nose to nose contact, and will likely reduce risk of transmission through indirect routes (VerCauteren, Kurt C., et al. 2007.  Fence‐Line Contact Between Wild and Farmed White‐Tailed Deer in Michigan: Potential for Disease Transmission. The Journal of Wildlife Management 71:1603-1606).  The proposed amendment exempts facilities currently permitted by the department to hold cervids from the new fencing standards.  A newly permitted facility or an existing facility permitted by the department to hold cervids which expands the current perimeter fence of that facility will be required to comply with the new fencing standards.  The department listened to comments from breeders during public meetings in 2013 that the fencing standards (double fencing with the perimeter fence at ten (10) feet) would be too onerous for existing facilities.  The proposed amendment represents a compromise that still provides risk management for the future, while considering the burden on current facilitates. Class I and Class II Wildlife Breeder Permits are also used by auction houses and other businesses that serve as “brokers” for cervids that are bought and sold.  Many animals may move through facilities owned by these businesses and may be held in confined areas that have recently held animals from herds of variable disease status.  Existing Wildlife Breeder Permit regulations were not designed to address such operations and may not adequately describe the conditions under which these businesses should be operated. This proposed amendment also makes an editorial change to Appendix A and reorganizes the order of a section for clarification. 

3 CSR 10- 9.353: Privileges of Class I and Class II Wildlife Breeders

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Purpose: This amendment requires new applicants for a Class I wildlife breeder permit, to hold white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids, to pass a written examination provided by the department andhave an on-site inspection of the breeding facility as part of the application process.  This amendment disallows importation of live white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids; display of white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids elsewhere than what is listed on the permit; and the construction of any new Class I and Class II wildlife breeding facilities for white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids within twenty-five (25) miles of a location where Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)-positive animal(s) have been confirmed by the department.  This amendment removes the exemption for nonresidents to acquire a Class I or Class II wildlife breeder permit to ship, transport, or consign white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids to wildlife breeders within Missouri.  The amendment requires Class I and Class II wildlife breeders to test all white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids mortalities that are older than six (6) months of age for CWD; to report confirmed positive disease results to the department; and to comply with a herd disease response plan approved by the department in the event that CWD is discovered.  The amendment also requires Class I and Class II wildlife breeders that hold white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids to maintain participation in a United States Department of Agriculture-approved CWD herd certification program.  The amendment establishes record keeping requirements and a minimum period of time that records must be kept for all acquired white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids.  The amendment establishes a stipulation that the department can require additional disease sampling and testing during disease investigations or morbidity/mortality events.  Finally, this amendment requires source herds for cervids to be enrolled in a United States Department of Agriculture-approved CWD herd certification program. CWD is a disease that infects deer and other members of the deer family.  It is transmitted by prions, which are abnormal proteins that attack the nervous system, and is always fatal to the infected animal.  CWD is spread both directly from deer to deer and indirectly to deer from infected soil and other surfaces.  CWD prions accumulate in the brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, and lymph nodes of infected animals.  Once well established in an area, CWD is impossible to eradicate.  States with CWD must focus on limiting the spread of the disease and preventing its introduction to new areas. Infectious diseases such as CWD threaten Missouri’s deer herd, Missouri's nearly five hundred and twenty thousand (520,000) deer hunters, millions of wildlife watchers, thousands of landowners, twelve thousand (12,000) Missouri jobs, and hundreds of businesses and communities that depend on the approximately $1 billion boost in economic activity related to deer hunting and watching. With respect to the proposed ban on importation, CWD has been confirmed in twenty-two (22) states, including Missouri, and continues to spread throughout the country.  Currently, fifteen (15) states and two (2) Canadian provinces essentially have a complete ban on the importation of live cervids and seven (7) states have partial bans (Cosgrove, M. 2013.  Chronic Wasting Disease and Cervidae Regulations in North America, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, http://www.michigan.gov/documents/emergingdiseases/CWDRegstableState-Province_402847_7.pdf). There is currently no approved live animal test for CWD.  Testing can only be performed on dead animals.  Additionally, there is a lag-time between infection and detection based on current methods.  Therefore, it is not possible to determine the disease status of individual animals.  The current federal CWD herd certification program is simply a means of reducing risk by monitoring a herd through disease testing of animals from a herd that die.  It does not indicate a disease-free status for any herd and only establishes a level of risk associated with each particular herd.  CWD-positive individuals continue to be found in captive cervid facilities throughout the United States despite prolonged participation in a CWD herd certification program.  For example, in 2012, CWD was detected in a captive red deer in Minnesota in spite of the herd’s enrollment in a CWD monitoring program for twelve (12) years.  This provides support for maintaining records for fifteen (15) years and requiring that Class I and Class II wildlife breeders participate in a United States Department of Agriculture-approved CWD herd certification program.  Because of the inherent limitation within the CWD herd certification program, it is critical that all captive cervid herds actively test all mortalities of individuals greater than six (6) months of age for CWD.  Furthermore, requiring participation in a United States Department of Agriculture-approved CWD herd certification program adds in the ability to monitor herds, trace animals, provides communication between breeders and the department, and provides a reduction in risk of disease movement.    A ban on interstate importation of live white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids, will not eliminate all sources of stock.  There are approximately two hundred eighteen (218) Class I wildlife breeders in Missouri breeding white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids. The proposed amendment is necessary to ensure that Class I and Class II wildlife breeders possessing white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids maintain and hold the records necessary to identify and track animals.  The department has determined that identification and proper documentation and record keeping on all individual white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids is imperative.  Rigorous records will improve the department’s ability to monitor white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids in breeding facilities and to conduct effective disease investigations.  If animals are moved from a facility, these records will be necessary to trace the animal in the future if CWD is discovered at that facility or at the facility to which the animal is transported. With respect to the proposed amendment’s requirement of passing a written examination in order to receive a Class I and Class II (already required for Class II) wildlife breeder permit to hold white-tailed and mule deer, the department believes this requirement is necessary to ensure new applicants are aware of all of the applicable regulations and are knowledgeable in the health of deer.  Providing a training packet and exam to applicants for a Class I and Class II wildlife breeder permits to hold white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids aides in educating individuals in the steps necessary to care for these animals and in disease risk reduction.  With respect to on-site inspections required as part of the permit application, this requirement is needed so that the department has the opportunity to inspect all facilities and determine if the facility complies with applicable fencing standards and other requirements prior to a permit being issued. With respect to requiring white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids to be displayed only at the location listed on the permit, this is needed to reduce risk of becoming exposed or exposing deer to disease throughout the state.  Allowing permittees to display white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids anywhere would expose the free-ranging deer of the state to unnecessary risk and reduce the ability to track disease during disease event investigations. With respect to removing the permit exemption for nonresidents to ship, transport, or consign white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids to wildlife breeders within Missouri, the department should hold all white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids breeders to the same standards. With respect to the new sampling requirements for all morbidity/mortality events for white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids older than six (6) months of age, CWD testing of captive mortalities and records of those tests are imperative to the department’s effort to protect the state’s deer herd.  The department must retain the ability to adequately monitor CWD within the state’s borders.  The department is requiring the samples to be taken by an accredited veterinarian to ensure proper tissue collection.   The proposed amendment requires confirmed positive disease results from white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids to be verbally reported to a conservation agent within twenty four (24) hours, with a copy of the testing report provided to the state wildlife veterinarian within seventy two (72) hours.  This requirement is necessary to ensure the department can act in a timely and efficient manner to protect the state’s deer herd and also to work with other state agencies in Missouri and elsewhere to reduce the risk of spreading disease.  As the state entity responsible for the health and welfare of the state’s wildlife resources, the department is requiring permit holders, as a condition of their permit, to comply with a herd disease response plan approved by the department in the event a CWD positive test result is confirmed.  The department will work with the permit holder and other affected state and federal agencies as necessary to develop an appropriate disease response plan that addresses the primary issues of quarantine, testing and depopulation, premises cleaning and disinfection, fencing, and restocking.  In Missouri, CWD has been confirmed in both captive and free-ranging animals.  The first two (2) cases of CWD were found in 2010 and 2011 at two (2) private big-game hunting preserves in Linn and Macon counties.  Following those discoveries, the first two (2) cases of CWD in free-ranging deer were confirmed in 2012 in northwest Macon County.  To date, Missouri’s confirmed cases of CWD total eleven (11) in captive deer from the private hunting preserves and ten (10) in free-ranging deer harvested in Macon County.  Not allowing new facilities within twenty five (25) miles of a confirmed CWD positive animal location is intended to reduce the risk of exposing more deer to the disease, which could then spread throughout the state.  Published peer-reviewed studies have found that, on average, most deer do not disperse more than approximately twenty five (25) to thirty (30) miles (Nixon, C. et al. 2007.  White-Tailed Deer Dispersal Behavior in an Agricultural Environment.  American Midland Naturalist, 157:212-220.; Diefenbach, D. et al. 2008.  Modeling Distribution of Dispersal Distances in Male White-Tailed Deer.  Journal of Wildlife Management, 72:1296-1303.).  Furthermore, use of twenty five (25) miles as a radius for a restriction zone surrounding a disease event was included in the federal CWD herd certification program when the program focused upon eradication of the disease.  In addition, there is precedent within the Wildlife Code for using a restriction distance (see 3 CSR 10-9.565 (1)(A)3.C.).

3 CSR 10- 9.359: Class I and Class II Wildlife Breeder: Records Required

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Purpose: This amendment establishes a requirement for an annual herd inventory, presence of an accredited veterinarian during the annual inventory, signature of an attending accredited veterinarian on herd records, individual animal identification, and individual animal documentation, including results of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing.  This amendment also sets a minimum period of time that records must be kept. CWD is a disease that infects deer and other members of the deer family.  It is transmitted by prions, which are abnormal proteins that attack the nervous system, and is always fatal to the infected animal.  CWD is spread both directly from deer to deer and indirectly to deer from infected soil and other surfaces.  CWD prions accumulate in the brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, and lymph nodes of infected animals.  Once well established in an area, CWD is impossible to eradicate.  States with CWD must focus on limiting the spread of the disease and preventing its introduction into new areas. Infectious diseases such as CWD threaten Missouri’s deer herd, Missouri's nearly five hundred and twenty thousand (520,000) deer hunters, millions of wildlife watchers, thousands of landowners, twelve thousand (12,000) Missouri jobs, and hundreds of businesses and communities that depend on the approximately $1 billion boost in economic activity related to deer hunting and watching. In Missouri, CWD has been confirmed in both captive and free-ranging animals.  The first two (2) cases of CWD were found in 2010 and 2011 at two (2) private big-game hunting preserves in Linn and Macon counties.  Following those discoveries, the first two (2) cases of CWD in free-ranging deer were confirmed in 2012 in northwest Macon County.  To date, Missouri’s confirmed cases of CWD total eleven (11) in captive deer from the private hunting preserves and ten (10) in free-ranging deer harvested in Macon County.  CWD has been confirmed in twenty-two (22) states, including Missouri, and continues to spread throughout the country.  Currently, fifteen (15) states and two (2) Canadian provinces essentially have a complete ban on the importation of live cervids and seven (7) states have partial bans (Cosgrove, M. 2013.  Chronic Wasting Disease and Cervidae Regulations in North America, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, http://www.michigan.gov/documents/emergingdiseases/CWDRegstableState-Province_402847_7.pdf).  While some Missouri deer breeders participate in the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s CWD herd certification program, this does not indicate a disease free status.  There is currently no approved live animal test for CWD, testing can only be performed on dead animals.   Additionally, there is a lag-time between infection and detection based on current methods.  Therefore, it is not possible to determine the disease status of individual animals.  The current federal CWD herd certification program is simply a means of reducing risk by monitoring a herd through disease testing of animals from a herd that die.  It does not indicate a disease free status for any herd and only establishes a level of risk associated with each particular herd.  CWD-positive individuals continue to be found in captive cervid facilities throughout the United States despite prolonged participation in a CWD herd certification program.  For example, in 2012, CWD was detected in a captive red deer in Minnesota in spite of the herd’s enrollment in a CWD monitoring program for twelve (12) years.  This supports the requirement for maintaining records for at least fifteen (15) years. The proposed amendment is necessary to ensure that Class I and Class II wildlife breeders possessing white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids maintain and hold the records necessary to identify and track animals.  The department has determined that identification, evaluation of health, proper documentation and record keeping on all individual white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids is imperative.  Rigorous identification, health, and herd inventory records will improve the department’s ability to monitor white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids in breeding facilities and to conduct effective disease investigations.  If animals are moved from a facility, these records will be necessary to trace the animal in the future if CWD is located at that facility or at the facility to which the animal is transported.  The presence of an accredited veterinarian during a herd inventory ensures proper evaluation of the health of the herd.

3 CSR 10- 9.560: Licensed Hunting Preserve Permit

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Purpose: This amendment disallows propagating, holding in captivity, and hunting hogs within a big game hunting preserve unless already approved by a specific date. Hogs are adept at escaping fenced enclosures and are prolific breeders. Feral hog rooting and feeding behavior contribute to soil erosion, reduced water quality, and damage to crops and hay fields.  Competition for food with Missouri’s native species is a major concern as feral hogs forage heavily on acorns and other food sources that are critical to the survival of deer and turkeys.  Feral hogs are opportunistic feeders and will also feed on the eggs of ground nesting birds and reptiles and they have been known to kill and feed on fawn deer.  Feral hogs are also very destructive to sensitive natural areas like glades, fens, and springs.  Feral hogs in other states are known to carry diseases such as swine brucellosis, pseudo-rabies, trichinosis, and leptospirosis. The risk of spreading diseases to people, pets, and livestock is a major concern.

3 CSR 10- 9.565: Licensed Hunting Preserve: Privileges

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Purpose: This amendment sets a requirement for a holder of a licensed hunting preserve permit to conduct disease testing, report disease results, maintain movement documentation, adhere to fencing standards, and to comply with a disease response plan in the event Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is discovered.  This amendment sets a minimum period of time that movement records must be kept.  This amendment disallows use of imported cervids in a licensed hunting preserve and the construction of any new big game hunting preserve within twenty-five (25) miles of a location where a CWD-positive animal(s) have been confirmed by the department.  Finally, this amendment requires source herds for cervids to be enrolled in a United States Department of Agriculture-approved CWD herd certification program.  CWD is a disease that infects deer and other members of the deer family.  It is transmitted by prions, which are abnormal proteins that attack the nervous system, and is always fatal to the infected animal.  CWD is spread both directly from deer to deer and indirectly to deer from infected soil and other surfaces.  CWD prions accumulate in the brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, and lymph nodes of infected animals.  Once well established in an area, CWD is impossible to eradicate.  States with CWD must focus on limiting the spread of the disease and preventing its introduction to new areas. Infectious diseases such as CWD threaten Missouri’s deer herd, Missouri's nearly five hundred and twenty thousand (520,000) deer hunters, millions of wildlife watchers, thousands of landowners, twelve thousand (12,000) Missouri jobs, and hundreds of businesses and communities that depend on the approximately $1 billion boost in economic activity related to deer hunting and watching. With respect to the proposed ban on use of cervids that have been imported into the state, CWD has been confirmed in twenty two (22) states, including Missouri, and it continues to spread throughout the country.  Currently, fifteen (15) states and two (2) Canadian provinces essentially have a complete ban on the importation of live cervids and seven (7) states have partial bans (Cosgrove, M. 2013.  Chronic Wasting Disease and Cervidae Regulations in North America, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, http://www.michigan.gov/documents/emergingdiseases/CWDRegstableState-Province_402847_7.pdf). Because there is currently no approved live animal test for CWD, there is no way to guarantee that cervids imported into the state are not infected.  While many breeders participate in a state or federal CWD herd certification program, this does not indicate a disease free status for any herd. It is simply a means of reducing risk.  The lag-time between infection and detection and lack of a live animal test are inherent issues of concern within any CWD herd certification program.  CWD-positive individuals continue to be found in captive cervid herds throughout the United States despite prolonged participation in a CWD herd certification program.   For example, in 2012, CWD was detected in a captive red deer in Minnesota in spite of the herd’s enrollment in a CWD monitoring program for twelve (12) years. A ban on interstate importation of live cervids will not eliminate all sources of stock.  There are approximately two hundred eighteen (218) Class I wildlife breeders in Missouri breeding white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids, in addition to numerous other cervid breeders within the state.    Current fencing standards are not sufficient to eliminate the risk of captive cervid escapes from captive facilities or the possibility of deer to deer contact through the fence. Published research from Michigan suggests that double fencing will reduce direct contact between free-ranging and captive cervids via escapes and nose to nose contact, and will likely reduce risk of transmission through indirect routes (VerCauteren, Kurt C., et al. 2007.  Fence‐Line Contact Between Wild and Farmed White‐Tailed Deer in Michigan: Potential for Disease Transmission. The Journal of Wildlife Management 71:1603-1606).  This proposed amendment requires that big game hunting preserves adhere to confinement standards to hold cervids. The proposed amendment exempts facilities currently permitted by the department to hold cervids from the new fencing standards.  A newly permitted facility or a current facility permitted by the department to hold cervids which expands the current perimeter fence of that facility will be required to comply with the new fencing standards.  The department listened to comments from breeders during public meetings in 2013 that the fencing standards (double fencing with the perimeter fence at ten (10) feet) would be too onerous for existing facilities.  The proposed amendment represents a compromise that provides risk management into the future, while considering the burden on current facilities. With respect to on-site inspections required as part of the permit application, this requirement is needed so that the department has the opportunity to inspect all facilities and determine if the facility complies with applicable fencing standards and other requirements prior to a permit being issued. With respect to the new sampling requirements for all morbidity/mortality events for cervids older than six (6) months of age, CWD testing of captive mortalities and records of those tests are imperative to the department’s effort to protect the state’s deer herd.  The department must retain the ability to adequately monitor CWD within the state’s borders.  The department is requiring the samples to be taken by an accredited veterinarian to ensure proper tissue collection.   The proposed amendment requires confirmed positive disease results from white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer-hybrids, mule deer, or mule deer-hybrids to be verbally reported to a conservation agent within forty-eight (48) hours, with a copy of the testing report to be provided to the state wildlife veterinarian within seventy-two (72) hours.  This requirement is necessary to ensure the department can act in a timely and efficient manner to protect the state’s deer herd and also to work with other state agencies in Missouri and elsewhere to reduce the risk of spreading disease.  As the state entity responsible for the health and welfare of the state’s wildlife resources, the department is requiring permittees, as a condition of their permit, to comply with a herd disease response plan approved by the department in the event a CWD positive test result is confirmed.  The department will work with the permittee and other affected state and federal agencies as necessary to develop an appropriate disease response plan that addresses the primary issues of quarantine, testing and depopulation, premises cleaning and disinfection, fencing, and restocking.  The proposed requirement of maintaining records for fifteen (15) years is necessary for potential disease investigations.  CWD-positive individuals continue to be found in captive facilities throughout the United States, despite prolonged participation in a CWD herd certification program.   For example, in 2012, CWD was detected in a captive red deer in Minnesota in spite of the herd’s enrollment in a CWD monitoring program for twelve (12) years. In Missouri, CWD has been confirmed in both captive and free-ranging animals.  The first two (2) cases of CWD were found in 2010 and 2011 at two (2) private big-game hunting preserves in Linn and Macon counties.  Following those discoveries, the first two (2) cases of CWD in free-ranging deer were confirmed in 2012 in northwest Macon County.  To date, Missouri’s confirmed cases of CWD total eleven (11) in captive deer from the private hunting preserves and ten (10) in free-ranging deer harvested in Macon County.  Not allowing new facilities within twenty-five (25) miles of a confirmed CWD-positive animal location is intended to reduce the risk of exposing more deer to the disease, which could then spread throughout the state.  Published peer-reviewed studies have found that, on average, most deer do not disperse more than approximately twenty-five (25) to thirty (30) miles (Nixon, C. et al. 2007.  White-Tailed Deer Dispersal Behavior in an Agricultural Environment.  American Midland Naturalist, 157:212-220.; Diefenbach, D. et al. 2008.  Modeling Distribution of Dispersal Distances in Male White-Tailed Deer.  Journal of Wildlife Management, 72:1296-1303.).  Furthermore, use of twenty-five (25) miles as a radius for a restriction zone surrounding a disease event was included in the federal CWD herd certification program when the program focused upon eradication of the disease.  In addition, there is precedent within the Wildlife Code for using a restriction distance (see 3 CSR 10-9.565 (1)(A)3.C.).   The Conservation Commission has constitutional authority to protect the health and integrity of the state’s wildlife resources, including captive and free-ranging wildlife.

3 CSR 10- 9.566: Licensed Hunting Preserve: Records Required

Read the existing regulation

Purpose: This amendment establishes a requirement for more information within inventories and record keeping for cervids on big game hunting preserves.  This amendment further requires a minimum period of time that records must be kept. Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a disease that infects deer and other members of the deer family.  It is transmitted by prions, which are abnormal proteins that attack the nervous system, and is always fatal to the infected animal.  CWD is spread both directly from deer to deer and indirectly to deer from infected soil and other surfaces.  CWD prions accumulate in the brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, and lymph nodes of infected animals.  Once well established in an area, CWD is impossible to eradicate.  States must focus on limiting the spread of the disease and preventing its introduction into new areas. Infectious diseases such as CWD threaten Missouri’s deer herd, Missouri's nearly five hundred and twenty thousand (520,000) deer hunters, millions of wildlife watchers, thousands of landowners, twelve thousand (12,000) Missouri jobs, and hundreds of businesses and communities that depend on the approximately $1 billion boost in economic activity related to deer hunting and watching. The first two (2) cases of CWD in Missouri were found in 2010 and 2011 at two (2) private big-game hunting preserves in Linn and Macon counties.  Following those discoveries, the first two (2) cases of CWD in free-ranging deer were confirmed in 2012 in northwest Macon County.  To date, Missouri’s confirmed cases of CWD total eleven (11) in captive deer from the private hunting preserves and ten (10) in free-ranging deer harvested in Macon County.  CWD has been confirmed in twenty-two (22) other states, and it continues to spread throughout the country.  While some Missouri deer breeders participate in the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s CWD herd certification program, this does not indicate a disease free status.  It is simply a means of reducing risk.  The lag-time between infection and detection and lack of a live animal test are inherent issues of concern within any CWD herd certification program.  CWD-positive individuals continue to be found in captive herds despite prolonged participation in a CWD herd certification program. The proposed amendment is necessary to ensure that big game hunting preserves possessing ungulates maintain the records necessary to identify and track animals.  The department has determined that identification, evaluation of health, proper documentation, and record keeping on all acquired ungulates is imperative.  Rigorous identification, health, and herd inventory records will improve the department’s ability to monitor acquired ungulates in licensed big game hunting preserves and to conduct effective disease investigations.  If animals are moved from a facility, these records will be necessary to trace the animal in the future if a disease is located at that facility or at the facility to which the animal is transported. The proposed requirement for records to be maintained for fifteen (15) years is necessary for potential disease investigations.  CWD-positive individuals continue to be found in captive herds throughout the United States despite prolonged participation in a CWD herd certification program.  For example, in 2012, CWD was detected in a captive red deer in Minnesota in spite of the herd’s enrollment in a CWD monitoring program for twelve (12) years. With respect to requiring big game hunting preserves that include a breeding facility to comply with regulations pertaining to those facilities, if privileges are exercised, the same records should be required.

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