Plaintiffs in Donald Hill, et al. v. Missouri Conservation Commission, et al. claim their rights were violated by a new set of regulations from the Missouri Department of Conservation. According to attorney Jean Paul Bradshaw, counsel to the Plaintiffs, the privately owned deer on deer farms are not subject to rules and regulations from the MDC, which, historically, has overseen wildlife in the state.
“The Department of Conservation has power over wildlife in the state of Missouri,” Bradshaw said. “We found it remarkable that the Department of Conservation took the position that these deer, that have been privately raised for generations … that the Department of Conservation said that the state of Missouri actually had an ownership interest in these deer.”
These new regulations were adopted by the Missouri Department of Conservation in early 2015, following the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease through the state. While the disease is an issue, Bradshaw said it is not a valid argument.
“Even the expert that was called by the Missouri Department of Conservation even acknowledged that there was an extraordinarily small risk of the introduction of CWD into the state of Missouri,” Bradshaw said. “These are deer that are going into a private preserve, they are going behind a high fence, which lowers the risk.”
In a 33-page decision made by Judge Robert D. Schollmeyer, an injunction was granted in the case until the legality of the new regulations is sorted out. The order will prohibit the regulations from the MDC from going into order, which includes the ban on importation of deer from out-of-state.
“The judge will have a final hearing on the merits, probably either later this year or early next year, at which point he will make a final decision, and that decision will decide the future for the importation of the deer,” said Bradshaw.
To hear the full interview with attorney Jean Paul Bradshaw, click play below: