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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Tim Miller (R)

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Wednesday, October 13, 2021

St. Paul – On Monday, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced a new ban on farmed deer movement. Under the new ban, farmed white-tailed deer will be barred from being imported into Minnesota, and they will also be banned from moving within the state.  

“I am shocked by this blatantly destructive action against deer farmers,” said Rep. Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg). “This ban effectively shuts down the entire deer farming industry in Minnesota. Because of this emergency order, farmers will not be able to sell their deer or turn a profit on their herd. This power grab was sprung on farmers everywhere without their consultation. I am sick of blanket emergency orders that ruin people.”  

In a press release, the Minnesota DNR claimed that their emergency action is designed to combat the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) among deer populations. CWD is a fatal, transmissible neurological disease that slowly kills deer. The disease was first discovered in 1967 and is not known to infect humans or livestock.  

“If the DNR was serious about stopping chronic wasting disease, then they would recognize wild deer freely transmit the disease,” said Rep. Miller. “Farmed deer are highly regulated, easily managed, and traceable. By contrast, wild deer can bring the disease wherever they roam. The DNR could work to stop CWD by going after the infected wild deer populations; but they don’t appear to. Instead, the DNR deceptively uses CWD as a front to persecute deer farmers.”

The DNR previously banned farmed deer movement for two months in June and July of this year. However, DNR officials said that this new ban could last as long as 15 months.  

Rep. Miller concluded, “Let me be clear, the DNR does not like deer farmers. They want to shut down the industry entirely in this state. The public officials that steer livestock and agriculture policy in Minnesota are beholden to radical environmental groups who do not want livestock farming to exist. As a result, hardworking farmers are steamrolled by foolish decision making and deceitful policy.”