JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- An effort to consider a new animal as “livestock” has run out of time in the state Senate.
The new animal is deer. Senator Brad Lager of Savannah had hoped to pass a bill this year considering captive deer as livestock under control of the state Agriculture Department. The Conservation Department would still take care of deer in the wild. “The captive deer industry has grown immensely in this country,” he says.
Lager maintains venison producers run their captive deer operations the same way cattle farmers operate their livestock operations.
But Senator Jolie Justus, whose district includes several central and eastern Missouri rural areas, says it’s not as simple as that. “If they were just being raised for food, it would seem like those would be livestock…but I was told these were being raised to be hunted,” she says. And in that case, she suggests, hunting is the province of the conservation department.
But this is the time of year when the clock determines the fate of a lot of bills, and this is one that didn’t have time for extended discussion. Lager has shelved it and the senate is unlikely to get back to it.