Protect Captive Deer from Disease

captive deer

Target: United States Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack

Goal: Support lawmakers working to ban interstate transport of captive deer in order to stop the spread of deadly disease

Recently six members of Congress collaborated to urge stricter transportation limits for the captive deer hunting industry. The six lawmakers sent a letter of intent to the United States Department of Agriculture’s  Tim Vilsack. The letter cites legitimate reasons to end interstate transport of captive deer for the purposes of hunting, including disease issues and other underlying problems within the industry.

Captive deer hunting consists of “can shooting,” which means the deer are in an enclosed area making it easier for hunters to shoot and kill them. Many hunters opt to take the deers’ antlers home as a trophies of their kills, and deer and elk bred in captivity for hunting often have abnormally large antlers. Countless deer and elk are shipped across state lines every year, intensifying disease issues and causing an epidemic in many states.

The captive deer hunting industry is statistically proven to spread the fatal chronic wasting disease (CWD), which is capable of passing from captive deer to wild ones as well as to cows. Because CWD cannot be detected in a live deer one infected animal could contaminate entire herds before the problem is acknowledged. This threat is greatly increased when deer and elk are shipped across state lines.

The six members of Congress have proposed that interstate transport of captive deer be banned in order to halt these growing issues. CWD has already been found in 22 states and is spreading very quickly. Call on the Secretary of Agriculture to support members of Congress fighting for transportation restrictions within the captive deer industry.


Dear Secretary Vilsack,

Recently a group of six Congress members proposed a ban on the interstate transport of captive deer bred for hunting. They sent you a letter advocating the ban, with fact-checked information supporting their request. I too am writing to support their efforts and to urge you institute such a ban.

As you know the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) is already a major issue in 22 states. Research points to captive deer hunting and its demand around the country. Infected deer are not easily detected due to the fact that they demonstrate few if any symptoms while they are alive. The disease can quickly spread through both wild and domestic herds of elk and deer, as well as to cows. The captive deer industry has lobbied fiercely against the ban despite the risks.

This is why Representative Jim Moran and his colleagues in Congress need your influence and support. The captive deer hunting industry is contributing to deadly diseases and should not be allowed to continue transporting animals across borders. I urge you to heed the plea of the Congressmen as well as that of concerned citizens like myself and ban the interstate transport of captive deer bred for hunting.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Keven Law via Flickr

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