Target: Don C. Bedell, Chair of the Missouri Department of Conservation
Goal: Help prevent deer from dying of a deadly wasting disease
The deer in Missouri are slowly dying from a rare disease. News reports say that since the first reports in 2010, 20 or more deer have tested positive for chronic wasting disease. This is a fatal neurological illness that causes small lesions in animals like elk and deer. Most of the cases that have been reported come from deer ranches in Missouri. The Missouri legislature is considering ways to eradicate the problem, but officials do not know what has caused the huge rise in the fatal disease.
Carcasses and decomposed soil are believed to be the main causes of chronic waste disease. It can be spread either through live deer or carcasses, and there is no known cure. Missouri legislators have proposed plans to help the problem, but have run into problems with conservationists and owners of fenced hunting ranches. The Missouri Department of Conservation is considering strict rules for hunting ranches that include building higher fences, but ranch owners think that the idea is costly and invasive. Missouri breeders want to ask lawmakers to declare deer as livestock so that the department of agriculture can regulate them.
Please sign this petition to ask the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Missouri deer ranch owners to come to an agreement about the problem soon so that no more deer will be hurt by this rare disease.
Dear Mr. Sikeston,
The deer in Missouri have been badly affected by chronic wasting disease, which has been troubling the deer population since 2010. Most of the cases that have been reported come out of deer ranches in Missouri, which means that there needs to be a change in the way deer are raised. The Missouri Department of Conservation needs to implement all of their plans to fix the problem this year.
I understand that there have been disagreements with ranch owners and that has caused the delay. However, the longer this problem is delayed, the more deer will die. Please find a time to properly meet with all parties involved and come up with a plan and a solution to the problem.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Whaldener Endo via Wikimedia Commons