Target: Daniel Ashe, Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Services
Goal: Ban commercial deer and elk breeding ranches
There is currently a multimillion dollar national industry for commercial game breeding of deer and elk that exists in the United States. These ranches breed deer and elk in hopes to produce unnaturally larger animals with enormous antlers to be held in captivity for hunting or to be shipped across the country to other ranches for further breeding. A major concern for these ranches is that they are more susceptible to outbreaks of chronic wasting disease, which is a contagious, fatal disease affecting deer and elk that creates sponge-like holes in the brain and eventually causes the body to waste away. It is easier for this disease to spread at breeding ranches because the animals live close together in captivity. Commercial game breeding must be stopped immediately because it is not only inhumane, but dangerous to the future populations of wild deer.
A recent outbreak of chronic wasting disease was reported at a farm in Nebraska and more than half of the deer and elk were infected. Another recent outbreak at a Wisconsin farm caused 80% of the deer and elk to be infected. Infection rates tend to be higher at ranches than in the wild, but it is not easy to contain the disease because the animals tend to escape frequently. The spread of the disease can also be facilitated by the shipment of these animals to other hunting preserves around the country.
Demand that this practice be stopped because it is not only inhumane to hunt animals when they are only bred to be held in captivity, but also to prevent the spread of this deadly disease. By signing this petition, you will help urge the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Services to put a stop to the commercial breeding of deer and elk.
Dear Daniel Ashe,
There is a booming business across the United States that is inhumane and threatens the well-being of our country’s deer population. Deer and elk ranches are breeding and holding these animals in captivity simply for the purpose of hunting. Not only is this practice inhumane, but it is dangerous because of the ranches’ high risk of infection rates of chronic wasting disease.
There have been many outbreaks of this fatal disease on ranches across the country. The outbreaks are not confined properly because the animals escape from the ranches frequently, thus potentially infecting wild deer and elk. It is also likely that this disease will continue to spread because these ranches transport animals across the country and they may not be aware if an animal is infected.
Please help stop the harboring and transporting of this deadly disease that is affecting a major part of our wildlife population by banning commercial deer and elk breeding ranches.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: ‘Stuart French’ via Flickr