MDC no longer issue permits for big-game hunting and wildlife breeding facilities

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Friday afternoon the Missouri Conservation Commission approved changes to the Wildlife Code of Missouri that indefinitely suspend issuing permits for new big-game hunting facilities and new wildlife breeding facilities in Missouri that hold white-tailed deer or mule deer.

The regulation changes to suspend the issuance of new permits do not apply to wildlife breeders and game ranches with existing permits. The suspension of issuing permits does not include wildlife-breeders or game ranches who wish to hold approved wildlife species other than white-tailed deer or mule deer. Renewal of existing permits for hunting and breeding facilities will be considered under established requirements of the Wildlife Code.

“The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is responsible for managing and protecting the wildlife resources of the state and we take that responsibility very seriously,” says MDC Deputy Director Tom Draper. “With Chronic Wasting Disease now in Missouri, this suspension of issuing permits for new deer breeders and hunting ranches is one of several actions we are taking to help protect free-ranging deer from CWD, and to help ensure the health of captive deer and other cervids.”

MDC permit records show there are 27 permitted big-game hunting preserves in Missouri with white-tailed deer, and 277 permitted wildlife breeders with white-tailed deer.

MDC has held numerous open houses to share information and get public feedback on the issue of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and Department actions to contain the disease.

MDC provided current information on CWD and the proposed suspension of issuing permits for new big-game ranches and wildlife breeders that hold white-tailed deer or mule deer to members of the Missouri Whitetail Breeders and Hunting Ranch Association at the Association’s annual conference on Aug. 4.