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#2848810 - 06/11/12 04:10 PM USDA Supporting Deer Breeders
Monty
6 Point


Registered: 03/10/07
Posts: 509
Loc: Bedford Co.

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As the old saying goes, "Money talks and bull stuff walks." Well, in the current situation, the money isn't just talking, it is buying deer and other cervid breeders a sweet deal with the USDA. The deer breeding business has pitted wildlife interests against agricultural interests for several years, and it appears the aggies are winning out at the federal and some state levels despite a lot of hard work by deer hunters and wildlife conservationists across the U.S.

It is absolutely idiotic to think the regulations the USDA is proposing will "control" the spread of CWD. Regulations only work when everyone abides by them, and history has proven time and again in the CWD battle that just does not happen! Plus, USDA does not have the law enforcement assets to enforce these regulations, IMO.

See the following:

I recognize that some of you are already aware of this, but it appears that in spite of trying to forewarn our profession that has been pretty apathetic in the past about the deer farming efforts to further exploit public trust wildlife resources, the cart has already gotten in front of the horse. Although TWS needs to have had a technical committee report and position statement on this issue for years, we still do not, and this issue is getting worse by the minute, now the deer breeders have enlisted USDA-APHIS to help them further exploit public trust wildlife resources. If you wish to obtain further information about this, contact AFWA, the interim final rule is available at : [url=http//www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/2012/06/pdf/cwd_rule.pdf]USDA Proposed Rule[/url] and you should note that comments must be received on or before July 13, 2012 to be considered. This is another opportunity for wildlife professionals to either weigh in and be counted or sit back and let it happen. It is your choice.

Jim

James E. Miller
Prof. Emeritus
Dept. Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquac.
Mississippi State University
MS State, MS 39762-9690
_________________________
"What is man without the beasts? For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected." (Chief Seattle)

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#2849270 - 06/12/12 08:24 AM Re: USDA Supporting Deer Breeders [Re: Monty]
eightpointer
14 Point


Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 8495
Loc: Birchwood, TN

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Best I can tell it just looks to me that USDA is putting the ball in the states court. Even more so..it looks like they are not really supporting but trying to regulate an ongoing business to stop the spread of CWD.
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#2849472 - 06/12/12 11:55 AM Re: USDA Supporting Deer Breeders [Re: eightpointer]
Diehard Hunter
CRAMP
12 Point


Registered: 08/01/08
Posts: 6817
Loc: East Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: eightpointer
Best I can tell it just looks to me that USDA is putting the ball in the states court. Even more so..it looks like they are not really supporting but trying to regulate an ongoing business to stop the spread of CWD.


To the contrary. "In the State's court" would be with the Wildlife Agency. Everywhere the USDA has taken control, the state has been pushed out. They have lost all authority to regulate the movement of animals or inspect facilities. The deer are treated like cattle, pigs, and chickens. The only time it goes back to the state is when the facility is shut down because of CWD and then the state has to foot the bill. That is exactly what happened in Missouri last year.
_________________________
The recreational value of a game animal is inverse to the artificiality of its origin and the intensiveness of the management system that produced it. Aldo Leopold


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#2849921 - 06/12/12 10:25 PM Re: USDA Supporting Deer Breeders [Re: eightpointer]
Monty
6 Point


Registered: 03/10/07
Posts: 509
Loc: Bedford Co.

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 Originally Posted By: eightpointer
Best I can tell it just looks to me that USDA is putting the ball in the states court. Even more so..it looks like they are not really supporting but trying to regulate an ongoing business to stop the spread of CWD.


The basic problem with the proposed regs is they cannot "control" or "stop" the spread of CWD. That's the fallacy of this approach. And as Diehard points out, once the w-t deer breeding gets under a state's agriculture dept, enforcement goes out the window. Ag depts care about supporting livestock as a business, not as a conservation interest. They have neither the personnel to actually enforce their own regulations, nor the mandate to protect wild herds.

Taxpayers foot the bill for all the "clean-up" associated with an infected site/herd (both wild and captive), which means us license holders get hit doubly hard because the wildlife agency will get sucked into the clean-up effort with no outside funding to cover their costs - - so goes our license dollars that should be going for other management programs.
_________________________
"What is man without the beasts? For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected." (Chief Seattle)

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#2849936 - 06/12/12 10:46 PM Re: USDA Supporting Deer Breeders [Re: Monty]
eightpointer
14 Point


Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 8495
Loc: Birchwood, TN

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So what exactly would you propose? You want the USDA to ban this practice...or stay out? It seems as if you can't have it both ways.
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#2850089 - 06/13/12 08:37 AM Re: USDA Supporting Deer Breeders [Re: eightpointer]
Diehard Hunter
CRAMP
12 Point


Registered: 08/01/08
Posts: 6817
Loc: East Tennessee

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I propose we leave whitetailed deer as wildlife, not livestock, and continue to ban the raising of whitetailed deer in Tennessee. The entire industry is a pyramid scheme, and they are trying to expand because if they don't it will collapse. If you do the math, you will see the only viable market for these animals is the canned hunting industry. The dressing percentage on whitetailed deer is too small to be economical. The price per pound for venison would be far above what people would pay. Even with species that dress higher, the price is still astounding. What this means is the only place to make money is from other breeders who buy breed stock and semen, and from hunting preserves that sell the animals based on antler score. There is not another market out there.

Leave whitetailed deer as wildlife, let the state wildlife agency manage them, and let livestock producers raise what is already livestock. Let the USDA manage the livestock industry.
_________________________
The recreational value of a game animal is inverse to the artificiality of its origin and the intensiveness of the management system that produced it. Aldo Leopold


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#2850098 - 06/13/12 08:45 AM Re: USDA Supporting Deer Breeders [Re: Diehard Hunter]
Andy S.
TnDeer Old Timer
14 Point


Registered: 07/26/99
Posts: 7870
Loc: Atoka, TN

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Good post DH. I agree 110%.
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Andy S.

If I had saved all the money I spent on hunting, I'd spend it on hunting.

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#2850153 - 06/13/12 09:51 AM Re: USDA Supporting Deer Breeders [Re: Andy S.]
Pursuit Hunter
8 Point


Registered: 10/01/08
Posts: 2086
Loc: Way out there

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 Originally Posted By: Andy S.
Good post DH. I agree 110%.
Yep. Well said.
_________________________
One does not hunt in order to kill; on the contrary, one kills in order to have hunted - Jose Ortega y Gasset

http://www.pursuithunting.com
http://www.pursuitland.com

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#2850431 - 06/13/12 03:05 PM Re: USDA Supporting Deer Breeders [Re: Pursuit Hunter]
eightpointer
14 Point


Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 8495
Loc: Birchwood, TN

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I agree as well...but its not the USDA thats pushing this to happen. They are letting free enterprise rule whether these business survive or not. If they are out there though then USDA is going to see to it they are run humane and without the spread of CWD. Fight the businessmen not the USDA.
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#2850448 - 06/13/12 03:44 PM Re: USDA Supporting Deer Breeders [Re: eightpointer]
Monty
6 Point


Registered: 03/10/07
Posts: 509
Loc: Bedford Co.

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 Originally Posted By: eightpointer
I agree as well...but its not the USDA thats pushing this to happen. They are letting free enterprise rule whether these business survive or not. If they are out there though then USDA is going to see to it they are run humane and without the spread of CWD. Fight the businessmen not the USDA.


The USDA is being complicit in furthering the pure agricultural interests involved in this business. To state that these regs will "control" CWD is unrealistic, IMO. If the USDA really believed that these regs will work, then why have they stopped funding hundreds of thousands of dollars in reimbursements to operators and states for damages associated with cleaning up after infected herds?

Free enterprise isn't free for everyone. Cleaning up an infected facility is extremely expensive, and the operator isn't liable for one red cent. They have and will continue to walk away when the costs outweigh their assets or willingness to pay. So who does get stuck with the check? The folks I mentioned in an earlier post - taxpayers and the sportsmen get a double dose because we'll pay as both a taxpayer and license-holder. The wildlife agency will be forced to divert funds to combat the CWD infection, which means other wildlife programs suffer. And the Legislators who introduce, lobby for, and eventually pass w-t deer breeding won't pony-up a penny to reimburse the agency and could care less about the problem.

Fighting the businessmen includes addressing their governmental influence. These proposed regulations will play well in state legislatures; we've already seen them tossed out in Tennessee, and they'll have more influence if USDA gets their way (and they probably will).

This entire w-t deer breeding issue falls into two categories: ethical hunting and infectious diseases. Raising captive w-t deer is strictly against the American Model of wildlife management. Granted, there are already other game species being raised for commercial purposes (elk and bison for two examples). However, neither of these species have the wide-spread appeal and potential/actual recreational value as w-t deer have. Shooting drugged, hand-reared w-t deer in pens is anything but ethical. The infectious disease issues are well-known. Die-hard Hunter's post is directly on target. We should not commercialize every animal in the name of free enterprise.
_________________________
"What is man without the beasts? For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected." (Chief Seattle)

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